Home > News > World
Friday August 22, 2014 MYT 3:20:09 AM
Friday August 22, 2014 MYT 3:21:13 AM
ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi denied on Thursday that his government planned to raise taxes, cut pensions or adopt corrective measures to rein in the budget deficit this year.
There have been repeated media reports this summer that the government will need to pass a mini-budget to hold the deficit inside European Union limits after the economy unexpectedly slipped back into recession.
"Anyone talking about pension cuts or mini-budgets is talking about things that are not on the agenda," Renzi said in an interview with the private television station Canale 5.
Labour Minister Giuliano Poletti said last week that under certain conditions he was in favour of reducing particularly high pensions or pensions that were disproportionate to the contributions that pensioners had paid into the system.
Italy's public spending on pensions is the highest in the European Union as a proportion of economic output.
"Will there be new taxes when people return from their holidays? No, on the contrary we will try to continue to cut taxes," Renzi said. He added that to do this it would also be necessary to "give a trim to public spending," without offering further details.
The euro zone's third-largest economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the second quarter, the 11th contraction in the last 12 quarters, tipping it into recession.
Most economists now expect Italy to post little or no growth this year compared with an official government forecast for a 0.8 percent expansion, and the weaker economic activity is seen taking a toll on public finances.
Renzi has said he will not let the fiscal gap exceed the EU's 3 percent of gross domestic product limit even though the current 2.6 percent target for this year is likely to be missed.
(Reporting By Gavin Jones; Editing by Susan Fenton)
Italy's Renzi under fire over budget plan as EU prepares verdict
Renzi says Italy will propose new EU rules on budgets
Italy's Renzi says to use EU presidency to push for budget flexibility pact
Italy's Renzi brushes off talk of EU mocking over budget
Italy PM Renzi sees no new budget tightening despite weaker growth
Obama approves fresh guidelines for U.S. military in Afghanistan
Irish PM's party popularity hit by water levy protests - poll
Iran nuclear talks may be extended as U.S. sees 'big gaps'
Somali Islamists execute 28 non-Muslims on Kenyan bus
Tunisians go to polls for presidential election
Mali records new Ebola case, linked to dead nurse
Don’t go all wrinkly on me
Little footie fans play with the big leagues
Google tests replacing web ads with contributions
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)