We'll respect 3% deficit limit - Berlusconi (4)

Forza Italia leader presents programme in Brussels

(ANSA) - Brussels, January 22 - Ex-premier and Forza Italia (FI) leader Silvio Berlusconi said Monday that Italy will respect the EU's 3% deficit-to-GDP-ratio limit if the centre right wins the March 4 general election. "We presented our programme to the EPP (European People's Party)," Berlusconi said after meeting EPP Secretary-General Antonio Lopez in Brussels.
    "The important thing is our desire to respect the 3% deficit rule".
    The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement's (M5S) premier candidate Luigi Di Maio has mooted breaching the 3% limit. The centre-right coalition FI is part of also features the Euroskeptic League.
    Berlusconi added that his relations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel "have always been positive and the lady is backing us with determination".
    Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi said Berlusconi's 23% flat tax proposal was "unjust and does not have the financial cover".
    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Monday he had had an "excellent" meeting with Berlusconi.
   

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