December 4, 2018 / 8:29 AM / 15 days ago

EU waiting for 'credible' commitments from Italy on budget: Moscovici

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici attends a news conference at the end of a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union commissioner for economic affairs said on Tuesday the EU executive was waiting for concrete and “credible” moves from Italy to revise its draft 2019 budget that is now in breach of EU rules.

Pierre Moscovici said talks with Rome were now proceeding at an intense pace, but stressed that the Commission was “waiting for more details”. “We need commitments that have to be credible,” he told a news conference.

Italy’s expansionary budget targets higher spending on pensions and welfare handouts.

Moscovici stressed that the Commission was not interfering with fiscal policies chosen by the Italian government, but was trying to make sure they were compatible with EU fiscal rules.

“We are not disputing the pension reform, the choice is for the Italian government because it is up to the Italian government to make its own policy choices,” he told a news conference.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Francesco Guarascio

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