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Italian parties' spending plans 'a warning shot for Europe' - Merkel ally

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Italian parties' spending plans 'a warning shot for Europe' - Merkel ally
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BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany should get not stuck paying for spending plans by the two anti-establishment parties preparing a coalition government in Italy, a senior member of the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives said on Saturday.

Alexander Dobrindt expressed alarm about plans by the two parties to raise spending and lower taxes, and said the European Union should not waiver from its commitment to stability.

“The new debt coalition in Italy is a warning shot for Europe. The EU’s principle of stability is non-negotiable for us,” Dobrindt said in a statement. “Germany cannot foot the bill for Italy’s new debt programme.”

Italy’s League and the 5-Star Movement, the two parties which won the most parliamentary seats in an election on March 4, unveiled plans on Friday that put them on a collision course with the European Union.

The parties’ leaders will meet on Monday with President Sergio Mattarella, who must give his blessing to the programme and to their yet-to-be-named candidate for prime minister before a government can be formed.

The document agreed by the parties after 11 weeks of political stalemate in the euro zone’s third-largest economy calls for billions of euros in tax cuts, additional spending on welfare for the poor, and a roll-back of pension reforms.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Andrew Bolton)

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