Respecting fiscal rules not Italy’s priority, says deputy PM Di Maio

Respecting European Union’s fiscal rules is not the priority of Italy’s new government though it will try to abide by them if they do not hamper its reform agenda, deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Monday.

“Our priority is the citizens and their needs,” Di Maio told broadcaster RAI in an interview.

He said the government would try to apply its planned reforms, which include tax cuts and higher spending on pensions and welfare, without breaching rules designed to keep EU states public deficits below 3 percent of gross domestic product.

But respecting fiscal rules “cannot be a way to say that we cannot implement” the reform agenda, Di Maio said.