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Italy will respect EU budget rules but not risk depressing economy: PM Gentiloni

Reuters

MADRID (Reuters) - Italy will respect European Union rules on public finances but take no measures that could depress its economy, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Friday.

The European Commission has asked Italy to reduce its budget deficit this year, signaling Brussels wants Rome to reverse plans to overshoot previously agreed targets.

"We are negotiating, we are working," Gentiloni said in a joint news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

"As always we will respect the EU's rules but we will do so without taking any measures that could depress the economy."

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(Writing by Isla Binnie; editing by Francesca Landini)