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As reported by Reuters, Italy has decided to stick to its primary 2019 budget targets ahead of a cost analysis of planned spending measures.

Key quotes

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte discussed the contested financial package with his two deputies, Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, against the backdrop of possible disciplinary action from Brussels unless the expansionary plans are altered.  “The objectives that have already been fixed are confirmed,” the three men said in a joint statement.

“As far as the on-going discussions with European institutions are concerned, we agreed to wait for the technical analysis of the proposed reforms which have the most important social impact to quantify precisely the cost,” they added.

Since presenting the draft budget two months ago, Italy’s two coalition parties, the right-wing League and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, had repeatedly refused to budge on their spending program.

However, League leader Salvini and 5-Star chief Di Maio both appeared to soften their tone ahead of their meeting with prime minister Conte.

Salvini said on Sunday that “no one is stuck” to the 2.4 percent target. Di Maio said on Monday that as long as the main measures in the budget remain unchanged then lowering the deficit goal was not a problem.