Italy's Budget Needs to Offer Credibility, Eurogroup Chief Says

(Bloomberg) -- Italy’s government needs to present a budget plan that offers a credible outlook on how the nation will tackle its high debt burden, Eurogroup President Mario Centeno said.

“We need credibility in the numbers, we need credibility in the strategy. We need credibility into the future,” Centeno, who is also Portugal’s finance minister, said on Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg in Brussels. “The Italian government claims that it’s going to make sure that the debt-to-GDP ratio comes down significantly in the coming years.”

Italy has signaled it’s not ready to budge on its controversial budget even as euro-area finance ministers on Monday called on it to prepare revised spending plans that comply with the bloc’s rules. It’s a sign that the standoff between Brussels and Rome is set to escalate in the coming weeks after the European Union has said that the existing budget plans go against Italy’s commitments to reduce its debt load.

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