September 26, 2018 / 6:33 AM / 2 months ago

Italy Deputy PM repeats 2019 deficit above 2 percent of GDP not a taboo

Italian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio speaking during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio repeated on Wednesday that a 2019 deficit that exceeded 2 percent of output was not out of the question, but added that the ruling coalition would be responsible with the budget.

The government, made up of the 5-Star Movement and League party, must approve its 2019 public finance and growth targets on Thursday as Economy Minister Giovanni Tria, who is a member of neither party, is pushing to keep the deficit below 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) next year.

That the deficit could be higher than 2 percent of GDP “is not a taboo”, Di Maio said in a radio interview. “But we want to handle this with responsibility... The budget will make citizens the priority, but keep an eye on markets.”

Reporting by Steve Scherer, editing by Giulia Segreti

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