EU warns Italy to cuts its spending as debt fears increase

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By Daniel Bellamy
EU warns Italy to cuts its spending as debt fears increase

EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici has again warned Italy that it must keep its national debt under control.

Italy's populist government will have to submit its draft budget for next year by mid-October.

The Commission could reject it if it decides it is out of line with EU rules, a power that the EU executive has so far never used.

"I urge all the government to be clear and to make sure that Italy stays where it has to stay - at the core of the euro zone as a strong, credible country willing of course to secure that its debt is under control," he told Euronews.

But whilst Economy Minister Giovanni Tria wants to cut expenditure, he is under pressure from the two ruling parties to increase it as they seek to fulfill their election campaign promises. Tria is an academic and is not affiliated to either the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement or the far-right League party.

The possibility of expenditure increasing has revived concerns in the financial markets.

Italy's debt is around 131 percent of its gross domestic product, the highest in the EU behind Greece.