October 23, 2018 / 5:31 PM / 7 months ago

Italy PM Conte says 2019 deficit/gdp goal "won't be touched at the moment"

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte gestures as he holds a news conference in Rome, Italy, October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Tuesday his government’s planned deficit hike in 2019 “won’t be touched at the moment”, even though the European Commission had rejected Italy’s draft budget proposal.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Russia, Conte said the government would have a “frank and constructive” discussion with Brussels over the budget.

“This budget has not been improvised. It is a budget that we have considered, worked on and thought about for a long time. So it wouldn’t make any sense if we say today that we will take another look at it,” he said.

Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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