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Italy economy minister Tria says deficit to fall from 2020

FILE PHOTO: Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria attends as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (unseen) speaks during his first session at the Lower House of the Parliament in Rome, Italy, June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Wednesday Italy’s budget deficit will fall gradually from 2020, marking a change from the government’s previous pledge that it would hold it stable.

The ruling coalition’s announcement last week that it would target the deficit at 2.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2019 and the following two years roiled financial markets and upset the European Commission.

“The deficit will increase compared with the previous forecast in 2019, but then there will be a gradual reduction in the following years,” Tria told an audience of industrialists in Rome.

He also said the government would make sure Italy’s public debt-to-GDP ratio falls more steeply next year than the marginal declines that have been registered in the last three years.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gavin Jones, editing by Steve Scherer