Majority of Italians Say Populist Coalition Should Reach EU Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Italian voters see too many risks in a fight with European Union over economic measures and are concerned the populist government’s plan could hurt the country’s international credibility.

Forty-one percent of Italians are pessimistic about the possibility the current budget law can guarantee the right balance of economic growth, financial accountability and market trust, according to an Ipsos opinion poll published in Saturday’s editions of newspaper Corriere della Sera. Thirty-seven percent see the goals as achievable, according to the survey conducted Nov. 27-28.

Sixty percent of the 1,000 people surveyed favor a budget deal with the European Commission. The Brussels-based commission has rejected Italy’s proposed 2019 spending plan, saying it is overly expansive with an excessive budget deficit.

Italy’s economy contracted in the third quarter, in a revision that will complicate the populist government’s growth plans. Statistics agency Istat’s final reading showed the economy shrank 0.1 percent in the three months through September, after a preliminary reading on Oct. 30 showed no change. It was the first contraction since the second quarter of 2014.

Italy’s government is aiming for a major boost from its economic program, to increase employment while letting thousands of workers retire earlier.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.