Italian populist leader 'guarantees' nation won't exit euro

Deputy Premier and Labor Minister Luigi Di Maio talks to reporters during a press conference at the Foreign Press Association headquarters, in Rome, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The head of one of Italy's ruling parties says he guarantees that Italy won't exit the euro currency bloc nor exceed its targeted deficit limit.

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Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio, a coalition leader in the populist government, told reporters Friday that domestic spending cuts plus economic growth spurred by public investment will keep the country from exceeding its deficit target for next year, as European Union officials predict.

Di Maio says "there's still a lot to cut." He added: "The guarantee we're giving is that 2.4 percent (of GDP) is the maximum deficit term" Italy will run up next year.

Economy Minister Giovanni Tria told lawmakers Friday that Italy will stick to its 2019 budget plan, despite EU officials' concerns about a big increase in spending.

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