We want dialogue with EU, not test of strength - Conte

Premier tells ANSA Forum he's upbeat on infringement procedure

(ANSA) - Rome, June 12 - Premier Giuseppe Conte told an ANSA Forum on Wednesday that he was hopeful dialogue with the European Commission will avert the danger of Italy facing an infringement procedure over its public finances. "Italy is very pleased that the EU's door is open (for talks)," Conte said. "We are always willing to talk to Brussels. "It is not in Italy's interest to be subject to an infringement procedure. It's not a test of strength.
    "We are also interested in a more long term path.
    "We are ready to talk to Brussels and we are highly confident that we can provide the responses they expect". The Commission said last week that an infringement procedure would be justified for Italy's failure to comply with the debt rule, while stressing that the proceedings have not been opened yet and it is open to talks.
    Conte said that he was optimistic about how his government will handle the public finances after important meetings with his two deputies, League leader Matteo Salvini and 5-Star Movement (M5S) chief Luigi Di Maio, this week. "The first meeting on Monday evening served for us to look each other in the eye," Conte told the forum. "It had been some time since we had done that. "There was a climate of refound confidence, serenity and dialogue. "Today we met again for a meeting on economic issues, which I had asked for, in order to start setting out the budget law (for 2020). "And I had a highly positive impression this morning too. I'm optimistic".