ROME Feb 13 The leader of Italy's ruling
Democratic Party (PD) said on Monday the government should row
back on a commitment to the European Commission that it would
raise excise duties to cut the budget deficit.
Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in a Feb. 1 letter
to the Commission that Rome would adopt extra deficit cuts for
this year, as demanded by Brussels, by hiking indirect taxes and
excise duties, as well as efforts to combat tax evasion.
PD leader Matteo Renzi, who was prime minister until
December, told a party meeting that Paolo Gentiloni's government
should correct the deficit by encouraging economic growth, "not
by raising excise duties."
(Reporting by Gavin Jones, editing by Steve Scherer)