Italy agrees on budget plan, expects rejection from European Union on Tuesday - Italianmedia

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Pierre Moscovici said Friday after two-days of meetings in Rome that the ball is in Italy's court now that he has delivered a letter outlining the European Commission's concerns with Italy's planned spike in spending. "It's a good budget and we'll see it through to the end".

Italy has until Monday to respond to the Commission's findings.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Twitter he had expressed his concerns to Conte on Thursday, and that the Commission had the Netherlands' full support in making sure European Union fiscal rules were respected.

Italy's ruling coalition expects the European Commission to on Tuesday take the unprecedented decision of asking a member state to amend and resubmit its draft budget, a government source confirmed on Sunday.

The gap between Italian and German 10-year bond yield spreads hit its widest level in 5-1/2 years after news of the Commission letter broke.

Its resolve to breach European Union fiscal rules will be put to the test as it faces a rebuke from the European Commission, downgrades by credit rating agencies and a market sell-off that could negate the very stimulus it is hoping for.

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Brussels has demanded Italy cut spending and reduce its public deficit in order to pare down its debt pile.

Speaking to reporters in Rome, EU budget chief Pierre Moscovici said the EU Commission and many other EU nations are anxious by Italy's spending plans, which will see the country's budget deficit rise to 2.4 percent of GDP, three times higher than agreed upon by the previous government.

"I can not imagine a Europe without Italy or Italy without Europe", Moscovici said.

Other EU leaders also warned Italy about the budget, some in public and others behind closed doors, as Conte laid out the plans - an unusual move at an EU summit.

The so-called structural deficit, a key measure for the Commission, which strips out effects of the economic cycle and one-off spending items, is also off the mark.

The government's budget plan targets a decrease of the deficit to 2.1 per cent in 2020 and 1.8 per cent in 2021.

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"The climate that we have in Europe is a climate of dialogue and availability, and we repeated that we were comfortably installed in Europe, however, has considered Mr. Conte".

In the coalition contract drawn up in May, Italy's ruling parties wrote that Russian Federation should not be seen as "a menace but rather an economic and commercial partner, potentially increasingly significant".

Luigi Di Maio, the head of the 5-Star Movement, on Thursday threatened to lodge a formal criminal complaint. He told a late-night talk show that the draft budget presented to President Sergio Mattarella's office contained a proposal to extend a tax amnesty on money held overseas and brought back to Italy.

While 5 Star has always opposed amnesties, the right-wing League, with its traditional voter-base of self-employed businessmen, is more favourable.

Both parties want to maintain their populist government at least until the European Parliament elections in May, the outcome of which could shift the delicate balance in the governing coalition.

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