October 11, 2018 / 4:06 PM / 12 days ago

Italy votes to push back balanced budget goal to beyond 2021

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian parliament voted on Thursday to push back the goal of a balanced budget from 2020 to beyond 2021, reflecting the government’s new fiscal targets issued this month.

The populist government which took office in June has targeted the deficit-to-GDP ratio at 2.4 percent next year, three times higher than the goal set by the previous center-left administration.

It has set targets of 2.1 percent in 2020 and 1.8 percent in 2021.

The previous government had targeted a balanced budget in 2020, while the new coalition, made up of the right-wing League and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, has set no date for eliminating the deficit.

The Chamber of Deputies approved the motion to push back the balanced budget by 333 votes to 188. Earlier in the day the upper house Senate had approved it by 165 to 107.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gavin Jones; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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