Italy approves final budget draft yet vows dialogue with EU

During a visit to Moscow Matteo Salvini said that Rome might block the renewal of sanctions that have been in place since 2014

The cabinet meeting was called in part because Di Maio had claimed that unauthorized changes were made to the draft budget, involving a proposal to extend a tax amnesty on money held overseas and brought back to Italy.

On Friday, the head of Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, said a dispute with coalition partner the League over a tax amnesty needed to be sorted.

Rutte, who has been increasingly leading a group of fiscally-conservative eurozone countries, said that the expected higher deficit was "not helpful" in the context of the debate about the future of the euro.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte says after a day of defending the country's budget plan to allies that there is no reason to fear the EU's criticisms.

"[This debate] does not become any easier when such a large member state appears not to stick to the agreements from the stability and growth pact", the Dutch leader warned.

Italy's budget proposal is considered out of line with commitments made earlier, with a proposed deficit of 2.4 percent. The EU ceiling is 60 percent.

Before the meeting, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said fiscal rules should be respected by all.

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It reported that federal spending rose by $222 billion, or 32 percent, in the first 11 months of fiscal 2018 year-on-year. Corporate tax collections in the US fell 22 percent, or $76 billion, in the fiscal year, which ended September 30.

Italy's deputy premier is brushing off a ratings downgrade and vowing to forge ahead with the government's rule-busting budget as Italy prepares to respond to European Union concerns about its high deficit targets. He said that the 2.4 percent deficit in and of itself was not the key issue.

"We knew that this budget has been created to meet the demands of Italian citizens, long ignored, was not consistent with the expectations of the european Commission". "We knew that this budget has been created to meet the demands of Italian citizens, long ignored, was not consistent with the expectations of the european Commission".

"We are not infants any kind of prejudice-negative", replied the president of the european Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

Brussels began on Thursday an arm of iron, with the populist coalition in power in Italy in calling for a formal "clarification" to Rome on its fiscal slippage "unprecedented". The increase suggests investors are more nervousness about the impending budget showdown with the EU.

The reforms under consideration are partly to ensure that the eurozone would have enough money in case of a major banking crisis to resolve failing banks and to prevent bank runs with the help of a deposit guarantee scheme - completing the EU's banking union. It could lend to governments that have been conducting sound economic policy, but were hit by external crises.

Brussels is pointing out a risk of "serious non-conformance" with the european rules, which could lead it to reject this budget, which has never before happened in the history of the EU.

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