November 29, 2018 / 10:32 AM / 18 days ago

Italy seeking only marginal cut to 2019 deficit target: Salvini

FILE PHOTO: Italy's far right leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini attends a a news conference with French far right leader Marine Le Pen in Rome, Italy October 8, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini on Wednesday said the government was not looking to cut its 2019 deficit target by more than 0.2 of a percentage point of gross domestic product (GDP).

When asked a question about whether the ruling coalition was in talks with the European Commission to cut the current 2.4 deficit/GDP target by more than 0.2 of a percentage point, Salvini said, “No”.

Salvini was speaking to reporters outside of parliament. Italy is facing possible disciplinary action by the commission for breaking European Union spending rules.

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said this week that there needs to be a “substantial correction” to the deficit goal, and that shaving off 0.2 of a percentage point of GDP would not “seem” to be enough.

Reporting by Angelo Amante, writing by Giulia Segreti, editing by Steve Scherer

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