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Italy seeks delay to EU budget decision, awaiting tax data - sources

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Italy seeks delay to EU budget decision, awaiting tax data - sources

Italy seeks delay to EU budget decision, awaiting tax data - sources

Italy aims to convince the EU to delay until the autumn a decision on whether to open a disciplinary procedure over its finances, which are expected to look healthier after tax revenue data in July, four coalition sources said on Wednesday.

Francis Maguire reports.

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Italy seeks delay to EU budget decision, awaiting tax data - sources

While Italy's row with the EU over its budget drags on, And with Brussels due to decide whether to discipline the Italians in the near future.

Italy's ruling coalition may have a plan.

In a Reuters exclusive - four sources from the coalition said they'll aim to convince the EU to delay their decision until late this year.

They said by that point Rome's finances could look healthier after tax revenue data in July.

On Tuesday, EU finance officials agreed that action against Rome was warranted .... Though Italy's Economy Minister hoped to avoid trouble.

(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN ECONOMY MINISTER GIOVANNI TRIA SAYING: "We should make ourselves available for a constructive dialogue with the Commission to reach an agreement that could avert disciplinary action.'' Italy has argued with the EU over fiscal policy since an anti-austerity government took office a year ago.

Their ambitious spending plans were popular with voters But the Commission fears it could raise the country's debt level.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT, JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER, SAYING: "I think that Italy is running a risk of being entering for years in an excessive deficit procedure.

I would like to avoid that and this will depend on the coming commitments to be taken by the Italian government." Two of the sources told Reuters the current European Commission will look more like a 'lame duck' as its term comes to an end in November.

They think Rome will then have more time to argue its case for reform of EU fiscal rules.

But if no compromise is found...the procedure to decide on whether disciplinary action is needed could be opened as soon as June 26th.




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