September 28, 2018 / 10:24 AM / 2 years ago

EU parliament head calls Italy's 2019 budget plan a risk for savers

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani arrives for the informal meeting of European Union leaders ahead of the EU summit, in Salzburg, Austria, September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Parliament head Antonio Tajani said on Friday that fiscal targets set by Italy’s eurosceptic government were “against the people” and could hit savers without creating jobs.

On Thursday, Italy’s populist-led government targeted a budget deficit at 2.4 percent of economic output for the next three years, defying European Union fiscal rules and surprising markets which had expected lower targets.

“I am very concerned for what is happening in Italy,” said Tajani, who is a centre-right opposition politician in Italy and close ally to former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The budgetary plans “will not raise employment but will cause trouble to the savings of the Italians,” Tajani said.

Italy has the second largest public debt in relation to output in the EU after bailed-out Greece and had committed for next year to a deficit three times smaller.

“This budget is not for the people, it is against the people,” Tajani said in a recorded statement, adding that the planned measures “will create many problems in the north (of Italy) without solving problems in the south,” which is the least developed part of the country.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel and Peter Graff

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