Italy forecasts higher budget deficit for 2017

The Italian government has approved a budget for the coming year that forecasts a deficit of 2.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) instead of a previously forecast 2.0 per cent.

"It is still not going well for Italy, but after two and a half years it's better than before," said Prime Minister Matteo Renzi Saturday while presenting the budget.

"We are not satisfied; we are hungry for positive results," Renzi said, as he presented the budget which anticipates 2017 growth of only one per cent.

The European Commission, which must now vet the budget, will likely be critical of Renzi's plans, but the Italian premier is requesting flexibility in consideration of the costs the country is enduring which among others include the refugee crisis and rebuilding following a massive August earthquake in central Italy.

The Italian government is shying away from unpopular austerity measures in the run-up to an important constitutional referendum in December, to which the government has tied its political future.

At the beginning of 2016, Italy had agreed to a deficit of 1.8 per cent.

Last update: Sat, 15/10/2016 - 21:47
Author: 

More from Europe

Austria to veto further EU accession talks with Turkey

Austria will block the continuation of EU talks with Ankara over Turkey's future membership in the bloc, Austrian...

Diplomats call for ceasefire in Aleppo at Paris meet

Foreign ministry officials from the West and the Middle East meeting in Paris Saturday for talks on Syria have...

French government seeks to extend state of emergency to July 2017

The French government said Saturday it would ask parliament to approve an extension to the country's state of...

No agreement reached between Russia, Ukraine on gas deliveries

Russian and Ukrainian officials failed to reach an agreement on gas deliveries this winter in a first round of EU-...

Britain jails man for posting Islamic State video on Facebook

A British court sentenced a 31-year-old man to two years in prison on Friday after he was convicted of encouraging...