Italy Senate votes to push back balanced budget goal to beyond 2021

ROME (Reuters) – The Italian Senate voted on Thursday to push back the goal of a balanced budget from 2020 to beyond 2021, reflecting the government’s new fiscal targets issued this month.

The populist government which took office in June has targeted the deficit-to-GDP ratio at 2.4 percent next year, three times higher than the goal set by the previous centre-left administration.

It has set targets of 2.1 percent in 2020 and 1.8 percent in 2021.

The previous government had targeted a balanced budget in 2020, while the new coalition, made up of the right-wing League and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, has set no date for eliminating the deficit.

The Senate approved the motion to push back the balanced budget by 165 to 107.

The lower house Chamber of Deputies, where the ruling coalition has an ample majority, will vote on the motion later on Thursday, and is expected to approve it comfortably.

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