December 11, 2018 / 4:32 PM / 5 months ago

Italy's Di Maio says France also now facing EU budget discipline

FILE PHOTO: Italian Minister of Labor and Industry Luigi Di Maio speaks at the Italian Business Association Confcommercio meeting in Rome, Italy, June 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File photo

ROME (Reuters) - France risks European Union censure over its latest budget concessions, Italian Deputy Prime Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday, adding that he expected Brussels to treat Paris and Rome in the same way.

The European Commission has rejected Rome’s draft budget which targets the deficit to rise to 2.4 percent of gross domestic product next year, saying it breaks previous commitments to reduce borrowing.

Looking to defuse countrywide protests, French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced a raft of concessions that risk shunting France’s 2019 deficit above 3 percent.

“If the deficit/GDP rules are valid for Italy, then I expect them to be valid for Macron,” Di Maio said. He added that the next 24-48 hours would be crucial for understanding how the Italian government could respect it electoral promises and, at the same time, avoid EU disciplinary action.

Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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