June 13, 2019 / 11:07 AM / 6 months ago

Italy to seek deal with EU over public finances: finance minister

FILE PHOTO: Italy's Economy and Finance Minister Giovanni Tria speaks to reporters during the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Fukuoka, Japan June 9, 2019. Franck Robichon/Pool via REUTERS

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Italy will seek a deal with the European Commission over the coming weeks to avoid European Union disciplinary steps over its rising public debt and is ready to adopt new measures should they be needed, Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said.

Speaking to reporters before a meeting of euro zone finance ministers, Tria said no new measures were needed now, even though the Commission said that Italy’s rising debt broke EU rules and warranted disciplinary action.

“We will explain we will reach our targets over deficit,” Tria said when asked what he will tell his fellow euro zone ministers later on Thursday.

“We don’t need additional measures, (but if needed) we will adopt them,” to correct the budget, Tria said.

Asked what would happen by July 9, when EU finance ministers are to discuss a possible start to the disciplinary action against Italy, Tria said:

“What will happen is that we will seek a deal.”

Reporting By Francesco Guarascio, writing by Jan Strupczewski

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