May 17, 2018 / 1:35 PM / 7 days ago

5-Star says coalition debt plan can help Italy respect fiscal compact

ROME (Reuters) - A proposal by the 5-Star Movement and the far-right League to exclude government bonds held by the European Central Bank from countries’ debt calculations can help Italy meet European rules on debt reduction, a 5-Star lawmaker told Reuters on Thursday.

A draft policy agenda drawn up by the two parties as the basis of a coalition government includes a proposal that sovereign debt bought by the ECB under its “quantitative easing” programme not be counted in EU countries’ debt-to-GDP ratios.

“The only effect (of the proposal) is to make it easier to respect the fiscal compact,” said 5-Star deputy Laura Castelli, who helped draw up the parties’ joint programme.

The EU’s “fiscal compact” imposes steep annual reductions in the debt of highly indebted countries such as Italy.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gavin Jones

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