Italian government gets 2019 budget through parliament

Italian government gets 2019 budget through parliament
By Robert Hackwill
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The budget fixes the deficit at 2%, but lacks innovation and runs scared of EU spending limits, while some say despite the government's claims of reforms, it is business as usual.


The Italian government has obtained parliamentary approval for its 2019 budget, winning the vote handily in the afterglow of Saturday night's confidence vote win.

"This budget again is respectful of the will of the technocrats in Brussels. With its very polite deficit at 2%, which has brought you the compliments and the vote by a guy called Mario Monti," said the leader of rightist opposition party Fratelli d'Italia Giorgia Meloni, who has been spoiling for a fight with Brussels and is keen to assert Italian sovereignity.

The ECB bank boss Monti is accused by the governing Lega-5 Star coalition of anything bad coming from Brussels. But the budget was criticised from both right and left.

The Democrats' Emanuele Fiano said simply, 'This is a government increasing taxes'.

While a former member of Matteo Renzi's economy ministry, a former Democrat and now in a new leftist party, Stefano Fassina, insisted that there was nothing new in the bill.

"There's no change, this budget law has an absolute continuity with those which were approved in the previous legislature".

The Lega's parliamentary leader Riccardo Molinari attacked both the Democrat Party, saying they are not credible in their defense of Parliament's centrality, and Forza Italia, saying they were backing the previous government and its pensions' reform and now they had shown up against their own policies, when yesterday Forza Italia crowded the floor of parliament in protest, wearing blue jackets to oppose possible tax increases and pension cuts.

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