Italian deficit to-GDP could reach 3.1%, say sources
Government still expects to keep within EC threshold18 September, 20:10
That threshold is crucially important to Italy, as it has struggled to free itself from the EC's excessive-deficit procedure, opened in 2009.
Earlier this year, the EC closed the procedure in Italy's case after it met the requirement that a country come within the 3% deficit margin for two consecutive years.
After reaching the 3% threshold last year, Rome had forecast that Italy's budget-GDP ratio would be under 3% this year.
The price of not meeting that requirement is stiff: states that are under an excessive deficit procedure and have a debt-GDP ratio of over 60% are obliged to divert public money into trying to reduce that ratio. In Italy's case, escaping the procedure has meant about eight billion euros freed up for public spending.