ROME (Reuters) - Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who heads the far-right League, rejected on Wednesday European Commission criticism of Italy’s finances, saying cutting taxes was the only way to lower the national debt.
The European Commission concluded 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.
“The only way to reduce the debt created in the past is to cut taxes ... and allow Italians to work more and better,” Salvini said in a statement in reaction to the Commission move.
“With cuts, sanctions and austerity, we have seen an increase in debt, poverty, insecurity and unemployment. We must do the opposite,” he said.
“We do not ask for other people’s money, we just want to invest in work, growth, research and infrastructure. I am sure that in Brussels they will respect this will.”
Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer