October 22, 2018 / 7:12 AM / 24 days ago

Italy says it's ready to discuss budget with EU authorities

Italian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio speaks at the 5-Star Movement party's open-air rally at Circo Massimo in Rome, Italy, October 20, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government is ready to sit and discuss its budget targets with European Union authorities, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Monday, restating that the populist coalition had no plan to leave the euro.

Italy has come under fire in Brussels with a plan to lift the budget deficit to 2.4 percent of economic output next year from 1.8 percent in 2018. The EU Commission has labelled Rome’s 2019 draft budget an unprecedented breach of EU fiscal rules.

Di Maio told radio RTL 102.5 that Italy would send a letter to the commission explaining its reasons for sticking to the 2.4 percent goal, and that the government was ready to “sit at the table”.

Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Mark Bendeich

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