Investors react with calm to Italy's draft budget

Italy's proposed budget at odds with EU limits | Money Talks

The difference between Germany's 10-year bond and Italy's equivalent remained stable Tuesday at a little more than three percentage points, hours after the populist government agreed on the budget plan.

Both Salvini of the anti-migrant League, and his fellow-Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio, have repeatedly challenged the Commission, insisting they will not backtrack on measures including a "citizen's income" for the poor, tax cuts and lowering the retirement age.

While the 2.4 percent deficit projected for 2019 is well below the EU's 3 percent limit, it is up sharply from a targeted 1.8 percent this year.

Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini denounced the "madness" of western sanctions against Russian Federation, during a trip to Moscow Wednesday, and launched a fierce attack on the European Union.

Italy's economy minister, Giovanni Tria, said the budget "would not make Europe fall apart". The EU executive has never taken this step since it was given beefed-up powers in 2013. "Your votes give me strength to go to Brussels and say it's the Italians that decide, not them".

While attracting worldwide criticism, the budget is popular with Italians.

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The member States of the euro area had until Monday to submit their draft budgets to the Commission, which is responsible then to evaluate them.

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 EU is likely to send the budget back to Rome, officials say.

According to the european rules, the european Commission has until 22 October to hold consultations with Rome "in case of serious breach" of the rules and two weeks to adopt an opinion.

The Italian budget is set to increase spending largely to pay for the minimum basic income proposed by the Five Star Movement but Juncker said he would not condemn the specific policy, saying: "If I said that we are against those measures, this would have as a outcome that some in the Italian government would attack the Commission because it prohibits fighting against poverty".

"I do hope that at the end the war of words (will end) and that good sense will prevail and everyone will notice that this kind of budget is exactly what Italy needs to cope with its chronic lack of growth", he said in a televised interview with CNBC.

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