No more austerity,dialogue with EU-Conte

Closing growth gap with rest of Europe fundamental says premier

(ANSA) - Rome, October 16 - Premier Giuseppe Conte said that austerity was no longer a policy option as he addressed the Senate on Tuesday ahead of this week's European summit. "Italy's a founding EU member and a net contributor," Conte said after his government sent its draft budgetary plan for 2019 to the European Commission. "On the strength of this position, we go to Brussels with an budget that we are proud of and that we want to discuss without prejudices.
    "Austerity is a path that can no longer be taken". The plan foresees Italy's deficit rising to 2.4% next year in an expansive budget that seeks to boost growth.
    The Commission has expressed concern that this could lead to Italy breaching the Stability and Growth Pact.
    "It is fundamentally important for our country to reduce the growth gap with the (rest of the) EU," Conte said.


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