December 6, 2018 / 8:03 AM / 12 days ago

Moscovici calls for 'extra effort' from Rome on Italian budget

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici attends a news conference at the end of a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, December4, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

PARIS (Reuters) - Italy’s government is on the right track as it works on new budget numbers but needs to make “an extra effort”, European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday.

“We’re on the right path but we need to keep making progress,” Moscovici told France Inter radio. “But I say to my Italian friends: everything that the pact allows, you will have it. Flexibility, you will have it.”

“But be aware, one thing I cannot do is ignore the rules. That means make an extra effort.”

The European Commission has rejected Italy’s expansionary budget and called on Rome to make changes to prevent a disciplinary procedure that could lead to fines.

Italy’s government will on Thursday make a final assessment of the costs of the main measures contained in its 2019 budget, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said.

Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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