August 31, 2018 / 11:51 AM / a year ago

Italy could exceed EU budget ceiling if spending needed: official

FILE PHOTO: Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte shakes hands with undersecretary for Prime Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti at Chigi palace in Rome, Italy, June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

MARINA DI PIETRASANTA, Italy (Reuters) - Italy could exceed the European Union’s deficit ceiling next year if the extra spending is needed to make sure that the country’s infrastructure, including schools and bridges, is safe, a senior government official said on Friday.

“We must table with Europe a serious negotiation on this,” cabinet undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti said on the sidelines of a conference in Tuscany.

“If exceeding the 3 percent (of gross domestic product) ceiling is necessary to ensure safety in this country, then yes (it could be done),” he added.

Reporting by Silvia Ognibene, writing by Steve Scherer, editing by Mark Bendeich

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