November 22, 2018 / 11:58 AM / 20 days ago

Italy's Di Maio rules out changes to 2019 budget before EU elections

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio on Thursday ruled out the possibility of changes to the country’s 2019 budget before European parliamentary elections in May next year.

The European Commission took the first step this week toward disciplinary measures against Italy over its expansionary 2019 budget after Rome refused to modify it.

Di Maio said that, after May’s elections, many European countries will have reasons to change the “rules of the game” in Europe.

Di Maio, who is also the leader of the populist 5-Star Movement, said the government will not exceed its 2019 budget deficit target of 2.4 percent of economic output.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Davide Barbuscia, editing by Giselda Vagnoni

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