November 21, 2018 / 12:48 PM / 22 days ago

Italy's Conte says 2019 budget is in the interests of Italy and Europe

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte awaits to welcome participants as they arrive to attend the first day of the international conference on Libya in Palermo, Italy, November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government’s 2019 budget is “excellent” and in the interests of both Italy and Europe, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day the European Commission took its first step towards disciplining Italy over the budget, setting up a confrontation that could last months and eventually lead to fines.

Conte reiterated he would hold talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Saturday. “Obviously during the course of the conversation we will finally have the chance to talk in detail and fully explain this budget,” he said.

Reporting by Angelo Amante, writing by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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