November 5, 2018 / 2:32 PM / 8 days ago

At stake in row over Italy's budget is the euro- France's Le Maire

BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The euro currency is at stake in the dispute between the European Union and Italy over Rome’s 2019 draft budget that breaks EU budget rules, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday.

Le Maire spoke on entering a meeting of euro zone finance ministers, which is to discuss the Commission’s unprecedented rejection of Italy’s 2019 draft budget.

The draft breaks EU rules because it envisages a large increase of the structural deficit rather the reduction required by EU laws. Italy has until November 13 to send in a revised draft 2019 budget to Brussels.

“What is at stake now is our common currency,” Le Maire told reporters, stressing that Italy should uphold a dialogue with the European Commission, which has requested a new Italian budget in line with EU rules by Nov. 13. (Reporting By Francesco Guarascio and Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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