Italy Needs to Build Trust in Economy; EU Budget-Deficit Rules ‘Not the Problem’

ROME (Reuters) -
Italy’s Economy Minister Giovanni Tria (L) addressing the media, trying to allay concerns about the direction of the economy of Italy, which has the second biggest debt of the EU countries. (Reuters/Max Rossi/File Photo)

Italy must rebuild trust in its economic programs rather than focus on European Union rules on budget deficits, Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Tuesday.

Tria was speaking after Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini unnerved investors last week by saying the government could raise the deficit beyond the EU’s limit of 3% of gross domestic product if it was deemed necessary to create jobs.

“The problem isn’t the 3% [rule] but to rebuild trust in Italy’s economic programs,” he said.

Italy has the euro zone’s second-biggest debt burden after Greece, and its government bonds suffered a heavy sell-off after Salvini’s comments. Salvini’s right-wing League party is campaigning on a euroskeptic agenda for this weekend’s European Parliament elections.