Rome

Letta says Italy 'serious' about deficit commitments

Premier reassures EC that country will follow budget rules

Letta says Italy 'serious' about deficit commitments

Rome, June 18 - Premier Enrico Letta assured the European Commission (EC) Tuesday that Italy is a "serious" country that will respect its pledges on budget rules. "We will keep our commitments to Europe because (Italy) is a serious country and serious countries keep their commitments," Letta said outside the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. His comments came after ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi on Monday urged Letta to break those commitments in order to run deficits to fund tax cuts. "The government should go to the EU and say you can forget the 3% (deficit-to-GDP ratio) limit and the fiscal compact," said three-time Italian premier Berlusconi, whose centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party helps sustain Letta's left-right executive. Earlier in the day, the EC said it had "full confidence" that Italy will respect the deficit limit agreed to by member states.

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