Rome

Budget to be approved before Christmas

But draft balanced-budget law will have to wait, parties say

Budget to be approved before Christmas

Rome, December 11 - Italy's 2013 budget, now being studied by a Senate committee, should be approved by the Senate within a week, politicians said Tuesday, keeping it on track for final approval before Christmas. But a bill enshrining balanced budgets in the Constitution will have longer to wait, they added. The budget should be approved by the Senate before Tuesday, December 18, slightly ahead of schedule, political party representatives said after a meeting in the Senate. The Senate Budget committee has been studying the bill. However, there will not be enough time to approve the balanced budget draft - known as Article 81- before the end of the legislative term, said Anna Finocchiaro of the Democratic Party (PD) and Giampiero D'Alia of the centerist UDC. D'Alia blamed an early end to the legislative session for killing several bills. "The early closure of the legislature leaves on the ground several laws," said D'Alia. The balanced budget law was to take effect in 2014 and included wording that required the government to consider the effects of the economic cycle and specific exceptional events, such as severe recessions and natural disasters.

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