[We will] try to respect all the hurdles Europe imposes, but the well-being of Italian citizens comes first.
That's from Deputy Italian Prime Minister (and man who is under investigation for kidnapping and abuse of office just three months after forming a government) Matteo Salvini, who spoke to supporters (?) at an event on Sunday.
That directly contradicts what Italian Finance Minister Giovanni Tria said last week. According to La Stampa, Tria said he does not intend to breach E.U. limits in the upcoming budget, due by the end of the month. In the same article, La Stampa said Tria has "asked Salvini and Di Maio to be more prudent with their comments."
Well, count Salvini "not prudent." His comments Sunday are yet another example of a populist leader causing trouble for no discernible reason. Investors are already on edge about the budget and it isn't at all clear why he would deliberately undermine his finance chief in public, even if he believes the budget is likely to bump up against the 3% deficit ceiling.
Of course I'm being deliberately obtuse. There is a "discernible reason". Salvini is attempting to get out ahead of things by painting fiscal profligacy as somethi
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