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Italy's 2020 deficit target 'very easily reachable': Economy minister

FILE PHOTO: Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri looks on during the swearing-in ceremony at Quirinale Presidential Palace in Rome, Italy September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ciro de Luca

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said on Tuesday that the government’s deficit target for this year would be “very easily reachable”.

In September, the government of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party (PD) targeted the budget deficit at 2.2% in 2019 and 2020. It was also 2.2% in 2018.

Gualtieri reiterated that the budget deficit for 2019 would probably come below the government’s official target.

In other remarks, Gualtieri welcomed the decline in Italy’s bond yields following a victory by the PD’s candidate in a key regional election on Sunday.

“The Emilia-Romagna vote confirms the solidity of the government and the rebuttal of the ... populist offensive,” he said, calculating savings in Italy’s borrowing costs of 400 million euros this year and 1.2 billion in 2021.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, editing by Giulia Segreti