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Italy has approved a controversial new budget law, which includes a 2.4 percent public deficit target. The budget defies the European Union’s fiscal discipline rules, but the government insists it will drive investment.

Italy’s government ignored warnings from the European Union and International Monetary by approving a new budget law on Thursday that steeply raises the deficit target to 2.4 percent for 2019.

The Italian Senate approved the new budget targets by 165 votes to 107, with the lower house following suit, passing it by 331 to 191. The Cabinet is slated to sign off the spending plans on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said.

The governing Five Star Movement (M5S) welcomed the vote in a statement. The budget “lays the foundation for a change of course in Italian politics,” the anti-establishment party said, adding that the plan would end austerity and drive investment.



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