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Italy PM Conte summons economy minister, key aides, over 2019 budget - government source

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Italy PM Conte summons economy minister, key aides, over 2019 budget - government source
FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte talks during a news conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (not pictured) at Chigi palace in Rome, Italy September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi   -   Copyright  MAX ROSSI(Reuters)
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ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte summoned Economy Minister Giovanni Tria and key aides to a meeting n the 2019 budget on Friday, a government source said, amid growing requests from the two ruling parties to boost spending.

The government has to set growth, deficit and debt targets for next year’s budget by Sept. 27.

A slowing economy is making the government’s task harder.

The economy ministry sees growth at 1.2 percent this year, compared to an April forecast of 1.5 percent, and at 0.9 percent next year, calculated on the basis of current legislation, compared with 1.4 percent previously, sources close to the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Italy, like all other euro zone countries, 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 rules, a power the EU executive has so far never used.

But markets have been unnerved by the debate, with Italian bond yields widening and falling according to the tone of daily comments from the ruling parties, which took power in June.

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Giselda Vagnoni; editing by Philip Pullella)

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