We'll avoid EU infringement procedure - Di Maio

We'll keep promises too deputy premier tells ANSA Forum

(ANSA) - Rome, December 5 - Deputy Premier and Labour and Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio said Wednesday that the government will find a way to avert an EU infringement procedure over its budget plan without going back on key pledges.
    "Now we'll bring home the budget, avoiding an infringement procedure and keeping our promises," 5-Star Movement (M5S) leader Di Maio told an ANSA Forum.
    The deputy premier said the M5S-League executive has presented "a new economic recipe that bucks the trend of those used in the past by Italy. "This has created attrition and discussion".
    The Commission has rejected Rome's budget plan for 2019, which sees Italy running a deficit of 2.4% of GDP next year, saying it breaks EU rules. Premier Giuseppe Conte's executive has said an expansive budget is needed to finance key pledges and boost sluggish growth. After initially ruling out make substantial changes to the package, the government has recently indicated it could amend it, amid reports it could be willing to bring the deficit down to around the 2% mark.
    Di Maio told the forum that there is no doubt about whether key government pledges, such as its plan for a 'citizenship wage' basic income and a pension overhaul, will be delivered. "I am still happy about the results of that evening," Di Maio said, referring to celebrations on the balcony of the premier's office earlier this year after a government meeting on budget measures to finance the pledges. These include the so-called 'quota 100' pension reform that effectively brings down the retirement age by enabling people to start claiming a State pension when their age and their number of years of contributions add up to 100. "The results are the quota 100 plan to surpass the (2011) Fornero law, the citizenship wage and the citizenship (minimum) pension, which will get underway in February. "The (citizenship) wage will start in March and the quota 100 will kick off between February and March. "That's why we celebrated and I'd do it again. "Those measures are still in the budget law".