November 21, 2018 / 11:37 AM / 24 days ago

EU Commission says Italy faces excessive deficit action

BRUSSELS, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Italy’s 2019 budget fails to comply with euro zone rules and so the government should face action from the European Union to reduce its deficit, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

“The debt criterion ... should be considered as not complied and ... a debt-based Excessive Deficit Procedure is thus warranted,” Valdis Dombrovskis, the Commission’s vice president for the euro, told reporters. “Euro area countries are in the same team and should be playing by the same rules.”

He said the EU executive stood ready for dialogue with Italy’s populist government, which has defended its plans to slow Rome’s efforts to cut its massive public debt to boost economic growth. (Reporting by Alastair Macdonald)

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