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EU CRISIS: Italy poised for new budget clash with Brussels as snap election looms

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Matteo Salvini last week moved a motion of no confidence in Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in the Senate over claims of a complete break with his coalition partners in the Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S). Italian senators are due to hold a vote within the next two weeks and several polls suggest Mr Salvini could see his Lega party triumph at the polls but the M5S is believed to be considering an alliance with the Democratic Party (PD) to stop him from taking over. As uncertainty remains on whether Italy will head to the ballot before the year is out, the European Union has been warned to brace for a new bitter battle with Italy over their budget issues. 

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Speaking to DW News on Tuesday, Dr Markus Will from the University of St. Gallen said: “If Mr Salvini really were to become Prime Minister, the budget process and the discussions with Brussels will be very, very difficult – no doubt about it.

“Whether he will become Prime Minister remains to be seen. But if you have a budget surplus, a deficit of one or two percent isn’t really the issue because we actually need to get down from the 1.35 GDP to debt ratio that in Italy amounted over the years.”

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Rome and Brussels spent months trading barbs last year after the Italian Government submitted plans to exceed spending limitations imposed under EU budget regulations.

After a lengthy row with EU chiefs in December, Italy agreed to lower its 2019 deficit target to 2.04 percent of GDP from an originally planned 2.4 percent.

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EU CRISIS: Italy poised for new budget clash with Brussels as snap election looms

Matteo Salvini last week moved a motion of no confidence in Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in the Senate over claims of a complete break with his coalition partners in the Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S).

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