December 4, 2018 / 8:20 PM / 12 days ago

Italy weighing additional asset sales to cut debt: economy minister

FILE PHOTO: Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria holds a news conference after a Euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Tuesday that the government is weighing additional asset sales next year to help cut debt as it seeks to settle a dispute with the European Commission over its 2019 budget.

The government has said it would aim to raise as much as 1 percent of gross domestic product next year through privatizations. The additional sales would be on top of what has already been forecast, Tria said, speaking in testimony in the lower house of parliament.

In its current draft budget document, the government “has made some changes, including to forecasts for possible asset sales in order to maintain - and give a sort of guarantee to - a decline in debt,” Tria said.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Writing by Steve Scherer; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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