October 22, 2018 / 7:10 AM / a month ago

Italy says it's ready to discuss budget with EU authorities

FILE PHOTO: Italian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio speaking during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government is ready to sit and discuss its budget targets with European Union authorities, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Monday, restating that the populist coalition had no plan to leave the euro.

Italy has come under fire in Brussels with a plan to lift the budget deficit to 2.4 percent of economic output next year from 1.8 percent in 2018. The EU Commission has labeled Rome’s 2019 draft budget an unprecedented breach of EU fiscal rules.

Di Maio told radio RTL 102.5 that Italy would send a letter to the commission explaining its reasons for sticking to the 2.4 percent goal, and that the government was ready to “sit at the table”.

Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Mark Bendeich

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