October 1, 2018 / 5:47 PM / in a year

EU will try to convince Italy to change fiscal targets - Moscovici

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

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Commission will try to convince the Italian government to change its fiscal targets, the European Commission’s Economic Commissioner said on Monday, after euro zone partners raised concerns about Rome’s expansionary plans.

“We will try to convince the Italian authorities to revert to the medium-term objective which is the EU fiscal rule,” Pierre Moscovici said referring to EU rules that require governments to seek a budget in balance or in surplus in structural terms.

He added that at this stage was not possible to say whether Italian plans for a 2.4 percent headline deficit in 2019 would allow for a reduction of the country’s huge public debt of 133 percent of GDP.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio and Jan Strupczewski

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