September 28, 2018 / 1:43 PM / 3 months ago

Italy PM says looking forward to illustrating budget to EU

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 26, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday said he was looking forward to going to Brussels to illustrate the government’s plans to increase the budget deficit next year in a bid to spur growth.

“Italy is not a problem for Europe; it’s a resource,” Conte told reporters gathered outside his office. “I can’t wait to go to Brussels to illustrate the budget plan.”

The prime minister also denied any tensions with Economy Minister Giovanni Tria, who lawmakers said had offered his resignation in protest against the deficit hike. Conte said Tria had him assured in a telephone call that he had never offered to resign.

Reporting by Angelo Amante, writing by Steve Scherer

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