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Italy to response to EU on budget today, Di Maio pledged to stay in Euro

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said the government is going to send EU a formal response on the “serious concerns” over its draft budget today. The response will provide explanations on raising budget deficit to 2.4% of GDP next year. Di Maio hoped that would provide “over a long discussion process … could lead the Commission to share the goals we have set.”

Di Maio, leader of the 5-star movement, reiterated that there is a concern of Italy leave the Euro or the EU, based on the jump in yield spreads. But he emphasized that “there is no Plan B (to leave Europe) but only Plan A which is to change Europe.” And he pledged that “As long as I’m head of this movement and a minister of this government I’ll always guarantee that Italy remains within the euro and in Europe.”

Nonetheless, European Commission is expected to formal reject Italy’s budget tomorrow, and ask for a resubmission. In a letter to Italy last week, EU described Italy’s draft budget as an “obvious significant deviation” of the recommendations adopted by the European Council” and “size of the deviation (a gap of around 1.5% of GDP) are unprecedented”.

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