ROME — The head of one of Italy’s ruling parties insisted Friday that the country won’t exit the euro currency bloc nor exceed its targeted deficit limit, dismissing the European Union’s worries about the populist government’s budget strategy. Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio, who heads the main party in the five-month old coalition, told foreign correspondents in Rome that he “guarantees” that domestic spending cuts plus economic growth spurred by public investment will keep the country from overshooting its deficit target for next year, as EU officials fear.
“There’s still a lot to cut,” Di Maio said. “The guarantee we’re giving is that 2.4 percent (of GDP) is the maximum deficit term” Italy will run up next year.
He brushed off concern that Italy might incur EU sanctions if it sticks to its deficit target. Meanwhile, the head of the 19-member eurozone’s finance meetings sidestepped questions on whether Italy might be hit with a EU fine.