November 27, 2018 / 6:43 PM / in 7 months

Italy's Salvini says wants to avoid EU rift, defends 2019 budget

FILE PHOTO - Interior Minister Matteo Salvini attends a news conference after a cabinet meeting at Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, October 20 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

ROME (Reuters) - Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Tuesday he wanted to avoid EU disciplinary action over Italy’s 2019 budget, adding that he hoped Brussels was open-minded about discussing the expansionary fiscal package.

EU government representatives are set to back on Thursday disciplinary proceedings by the European Commission against Italy over its debt mountain, according to two European Union sources and a document seen by Reuters.

Salvini told reporters the budget was “serious” and was aimed at fostering growth. He said he was not “hung up” over projections included in the bill, but said it was important for coalition parties to follow through on their electoral promises.

Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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