November 5, 2018 / 2:02 PM / 9 days ago

Eurogroup head hopes Italy will revise budget

BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The chairman of euro zone finance ministers Mario Centeno said on Monday he hoped Italy would send in a revised 2019 draft budget that would be in line with European Union rules.

Italy’s draft was rejected by the European Commission because instead of structural consolidation, it envisaged an increase in structural borrowing in a country which already has the second biggest public debt in Europe after Greece in relation to the size of its economy.

“We are in the process of getting a reply from the Italian government. We are looking forward to very constructive discussions and debates that we know are going on and hopefully we will get a new draft budgetary plan and then come back to this in December,” Centeno said.

“We are hoping that Italy is able to take steps in order to take the draft budgetary plan in line with our fiscal rules,” he told reporters on arrival for a monthly meeting of euro zone finance ministers. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

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