October 19, 2018 / 2:09 PM / 25 days ago

Italy's Conte sees no need to change budget despite EU concern

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday he saw no need to change his government’s 2019 budget, despite European Commission warnings over the bulging deficit.

Speaking after an EU summit, Conte said he would tell the Commission that its concerns were overblown. “The budget? There is no reason to change it,” Conte told reporters.

The Commission sent a letter to Rome on Thursday warning that the draft budget appeared to be in “particularly serious non-compliance” with EU rules as its deviation from targets was “unprecedented”. It gave the Italian government until Monday to respond.

“That letter is the beginning of a discussion. We will reply on Monday,” he said.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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