Italy said on Thursday it would resist pressure from Brussels to revise its big-spending budget, effectively daring EU authorities to punish it with fines ahead of May’s European parliamentary elections.
“We will not take a backward step,” Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini told state-owned television Rai. “We’re not spending this money at random. The idea is for Italy to grow.”
His coalition partner and co-deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio of the anti-establishment 5-Star party, also said Rome would not back down before then.
In contrast to this, one could see Prime Minister Conte saying “We are responsible, there is no presumed rebellion against the EU”.
EU Commission Vice-President Katainen said “We want to be sure that there is a good and proper dialogue between the Commission and the Italian authorities , the solution goes through the discussion, we want to avoid negative consequences that could spread to the rest of the continent.”