June 5, 2019 / 3:10 PM / 21 days ago

Italy PM Conte says government wants 'constructive' talks with EU over budget

FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte looks on as he holds a news conference at Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s office said on Wednesday the government wanted constructive talks with Brussels to reach a deal over 2019 budget targets, after the European Commission issued a warning over Rome’s finances.

“The government hopes for the continuation of a constructive dialogue with the Commission in order to reach an agreement on the ways in which the objectives for the current year will be achieved,” Conte’s office said in a statement.

The European Commission said earlier on Wednesday that Italy was in breach of EU fiscal rules because of its growing debt, a situation that justifies the launch of a disciplinary procedure.

Conte’s office said Italy’s deficit-to-GDP ratio for 2019 would come in at 2.1%, well below the official 2.4% target.

Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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