Italy’s Tria says IMF policies pose risk, defends deficit-spending

Italian Economy Minister Tria attends a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels
Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria attends a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

January 21, 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Italy’s economy minister Giovanni Tria said on Monday the economic policies recommended by the International Monetary Fund posed a risk to the global economy and that his own government’s approach was not risky.

Asked about an IMF report that said Italy was one of the risks for the global economy, together with China and Brexit, Tria told reporters: “The fourth risk (is) the policies recommended by the IMF.”

“Italy does not pose a risk for the European and the global economy,” he said, insisting that deficit spending was the right policy to pursue in the current economic cycle.

Rome is targeting a 2 percent deficit this year, mostly to boost welfare and pension expenditures. Tria excluded that Italy may consider at this stage additional budget measures for this year to counter the expected slowdown of the economy.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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