June 5, 2019 / 5:36 AM / 3 months ago

Italy deputy PMs discussed option to exceed 3% budget deficit - paper

FILE PHOTO: Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini addresses a major rally of European nationalist and far-right parties ahead of EU parliamentary elections in Milan, Italy May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s two deputy prime ministers, Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, discussed the possibility of breaching the European Union’s budget deficit rule, Italian daily Corriere della Sera said in an unsourced report on Wednesday.

The pair discussed the option in a telephone conversation on Tuesday, the newspaper said, though it did not say whether the two political leaders came to an agreement on whether or not to exceed the EU deficit limit of 3% of gross domestic product.

Salvini and Di Maio are to talk again about this and other issues, including a possible cabinet reshuffle, on Wednesday evening or Thursday, the newspaper added.

The European Commission is likely to begin disciplinary procedures against Italy later on Wednesday over the country’s failure to reduce public debt as required by EU law.

Reporting by Mark Bendeich; Editing by Claudia Cristoferi

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