October 22, 2019 / 9:04 AM / a month ago

Italy's public debt rises to 138% of GDP in Q2 - Eurostat

BRUSSELS, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Italy’s public debt rose to 138.0% of the country’s gross domestic product in the second quarter of the year, up from 136.6% in the previous three months, in further violation of the European Union requirement to reduce debt, data showed on Tuesday.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said Italy’s public debt was 2.442 trillion euros at the end of June, up from 2.388 trillion, or 136.0% of GDP a year earlier.

European Union rules require countries with high debt like Italy to reduce it every year by 1/20th of the difference between its current level and the 60% of GDP ceiling set by EU treaties — a requirement that Italy has been violating for years.

In its draft budget assumptions for 2020 sent to the European Commission last week, the Italian government forecasts Italian public debt at 135.7% of GDP this year and at 135.2% next year. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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