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Italy’s 2020 deficit target ‘very easily reachable’: Economy minister

ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said on Tuesday that the government’s deficit target for this year would be “very easily reachable”.

In September, the government of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party (PD) targeted the budget deficit at 2.2% in 2019 and 2020. It was also 2.2% in 2018.

Gualtieri reiterated that the budget deficit for 2019 would probably come below the government’s official target.

In other remarks, Gualtieri welcomed the decline in Italy’s bond yields following a victory by the PD’s candidate in a key regional election on Sunday.

“The Emilia-Romagna vote confirms the solidity of the government and the rebuttal of the … populist offensive,” he said, calculating savings in Italy’s borrowing costs of 400 million euros this year and 1.2 billion in 2021.

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, editing by Giulia Segreti)