October 8, 2018 / 9:39 AM / a year ago

Italy won't backtrack on 2019 budget: Deputy PM Salvini

Italy's far right leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini attends a a news conference with French far right leader Marine Le Pen in Rome, Italy October 8, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Monday the government would not cave in to market pressure and backtrack on its plans to increase deficit spending next year.

“If one had evil thoughts, he would think there are people betting on the spread because they don’t want Italy to grow and create jobs,” Salvini said, noting the gap between Italy’s benchmark 10-year bonds and the German equivalent had widened on Monday.

“We will not backtrack, we will not backtrack,” Salvini said of the government’s budget plans, adding that “speculators acting like (George) Soros are betting on Italy’s collapse to buy at discount prices the healthy companies, and there are many of them, that have remained in this country.”

Salvini spoke during a press conference with French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in Rome.

Reporting by Steve Scherer, editing by Gavin Jones

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