Risk of 'rubble' with Salvini - Juncker - English

Рим борется за дефицит

Salvini said earlier on Friday that "people like" Juncker and EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici "have ruined Europe".

He also threatened to sue Juncker for damages, accusing the him of pushing up Rome's cost of borrowing for likening Italy to Greece after it announced plans to triple its budget deficit.

"He should drink two glasses of water before opening his mouth, and stop spreading non-existent threats".

Replying hours later during a visit to Vienna, Juncker told the Austrian news agency APA: "I hope he will never have to remove the heap of ruins".

Mr Juncker said: "Italy is distancing itself from the budgetary targets we have jointly agreed at European Union level". The Commission president added there should be no "special treatment" for what he called Rome's budget indiscipline. Its public debt is over €2.2 trillion, 132 per cent of its GDP.

It comes as the European Commission said the targets were a "source of serious concern" in a letter to Italy's economy minister Giovanni Tria.

Juncker's words were echoed by eurozone finance ministers at a Eurogroup meeting who cautioned against Italy's budget plans.

"As a citizen, as a patriot, as Chairman of the European Parliament, I appeal to the government of Italy that it has changed the budget maneuver, which frightens the markets and which threatens to turn into the smoke of the savings of Italians". Italy has one of the slowest economic growth rates in Europe. "We are trying to change this Europe from the inside and we hope that the May European elections will give us a hand. If not, things will be very hard", Salvini added.

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