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EU warns Italy about debt as parties look to spend more

May 23, 2018
European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union Valdis Dombrovskis, left, and European Commissioner for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip read documents at the start of a meeting of the college of commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union Valdis Dombrovskis, left, and European Commissioner for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip read documents at the start of a meeting of the college of commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is warning Italy to rein in government debt, as political parties in Rome try to form a government that aims to increase public spending.

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said Wednesday that “Italy needs to continue to reduce its public debt, which is indeed second highest in the EU after Greece.” Italy’s debt is currently over 130 percent of GDP.

The 19 members of the euro currency should keep public debt under 60 percent of GDP and the budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP.

The Commission said Italy is unlikely to comply with the rules in 2018 and 2019.

EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said “it’s an important question for the future of Italy and Italian citizens above all, and this requires a credible response.”

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