June 18, 2019 / 9:20 AM / a month ago

Italy's Tria says can avoid EU disciplinary action on deficit

FILE PHOTO: Italy's Economy and Finance Minister Giovanni Tria speaks to reporters during the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Fukuoka, Japan June 9, 2019. Franck Robichon/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Italy can avoid disciplinary action from the European Commission over its spending plans by sticking to its current budget deficit target but Rome will need to cut spending rather than hike taxes, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Tuesday.

“We are going to have the commitments approved by parliament,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in London.

“For the next year, we have to indicate which of the instruments (to use),” he said, adding he preferred cutting spending rather than raising taxes to meet a budget deficit target of around 2.1% of GDP.

Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe

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