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Italy's respect of budget commitments 'fundamental', Barroso

Renzi said 2014 deficit may be higher than 2.6% forecast

20 March, 17:17
Italy's respect of budget commitments 'fundamental', Barroso

(see related stories) (ANSA) - Brussels, March 20 - European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said Thursday that Rome's respect of its budget commitments was crucial to confidence in Italy and the European Union as a whole. Premier Matteo Renzi said Wednesday that Italy would respect the EU deficit-to-GDP limit of 3% even though he considered it out of date. Renzi has also said, however, that Italy's deficit for 2014 may be higher than the 2.6% it was forecast to come in at this year, while remaining within the 3% limit.

"I learned about this from the comments made in Berlin," Barroso said referring to Renzi's statements after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday when asked about Italy's deficit.

"The Italian premier has committed himself to a very ambitious programme of reforms while at the same time saying he would respect the commitments made at the European level," Barroso added ahead of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels.

"I think this is fundamental for confidence in Italy and the whole EU".