ITALY’S budget is back on the table in Brussels with eurozone’s finance ministers meeting again to discuss national draft budgets for next year.
The cash-strapped country’s proposals have already been rejected by the EU because it fails to lower massive public debt but the government then refused to make changes to prevent a disciplinary procedure that could eventually lead to fines. Both sides have softened previously hardline rhetoric, reassuring financial markets and leading to a fall in Italy's borrowing costs. But experts believe the EU will likely push for its fiscal rules to be honoured by Italy to the letter.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said a compromise was in everyone's interests and was optimistic a deal could be struck with the European Commission.
Mr Conte gave no details but said aspects discussed included ways some budget measures could be strengthened to improve Italy's faltering economic growth prospects.
He said: “Italy does not stand against Europe. An infringement procedure is not appropriate neither for Italy nor for Europe.
Mr Conte insisted Rome and Brussels are close to “setting out what could be the final solution.”