September 7, 2018 / 8:05 AM / a year ago

Italy must cut its structural deficit - Moscovici

European Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici speaks during a news conference in Brussels, Belgium August 20, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

VIENNA (Reuters) - Italy has to cut its structural deficit, the European Union economics commissioner said on Friday, stressing that it was in the country’s interest to prepare a budget that would decrease its large debt.

“Italy has to reduce its structural deficit,” Pierre Moscovici told journalists on arrival for a meeting of euro zone ministers in Vienna.

He declined to comment on specific numerical targets, but insisted that Italy had already benefited of a lot of flexibility under EU fiscal rules.

Italy, as all other euro zone countries, will have to submit its draft budget for next year by mid-October. The Commission could reject it if it found it not in line with EU rules, a power that the EU executive has so far never used.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio

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