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Report: EU official says Italian budget draft unacceptable

October 17, 2018

BERLIN (AP) — The European Union’s budget chief has reportedly said that the Italian government’s draft budget doesn’t comply with the bloc’s rules.

Italy’s populist government submitted the budget plan this week after disregarding pointed warnings to ease up on spending promises that have shattered previous deficit pledges.

EU budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger was quoted Wednesday as telling German news outlet Der Spiegel: “The suspicion has been confirmed that Italy’s 2019 budget draft is not compatible as it is with the obligations that exist in the EU.”

Der Spiegel reported that a formal notification from EU Commission colleague Pierre Moscovici is expected to arrive in Rome Thursday or Friday.

Italian leaders say the budget plan will boost growth through higher spending, but other EU countries are concerned about Italy’s public debt load.

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