October 23, 2018 / 3:21 PM / 21 days ago

Italy says EU's budget rejection no surprise, calls for "respect"

Italian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio speaks at the 5-Star Movement party's open-air rally at Circo Massimo in Rome, Italy, October 21, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday the European Commission’s unprecedented rejection of Italy’s budget was fully expected and called for the EU executive to have “respect” for Italians and their government.

“This is the first Italian budget that the EU doesn’t like. I am not surprised. This is the first Italian budget that was written in Rome and not in Brussels,” Di Maio said on Facebook.

Separately, a spokeswoman for the economy ministry in Rome defended the government’s expansionary budget and said Italy stuck by its position that the only way to cut the country’s public debt was by boosting economic growth.

Reporting by Gavin Jones; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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