Predictably, the fraught Italian budget negotiations went off the rails at the last minute on Thursday, casting further doubt on the country's fiscal trajectory and underscoring deep fissures between Finance Minister Giovanni Tria and the country's firebrand deputy Prime Minsters.
Matteo Salvini was characteristically defiant ahead of today's deadline. "We’ll do a courageous budget, the deficit isn’t a problem", he told Corriere della Sera over the weekend, adding that he "spoke to foreign investors and all of them told me the same thing: do a courageous, expansionary budget."
That's a lie, and it came just a day after Ignazio Visco warned the League leader to be careful.
For their part, Five Star was reportedly looking for a deficit of 2.6% of GDP in order to make sure they can pay for that damn “citizen’s income”.
Fast forward to Thursday and rumors were swirling that a planned cabinet meeting to decide on next year's budget targets might be delayed. The initial reporting, from Corriere della Sera, cited "new complications".
Apparently, Salvini threw his hat in with Di Maio in seeking a 2.4% deficit next year, while Tria drew a line in the sand at 1.9% of GDP
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