“No one in Brussels can tell me it is not time,” the leader of the League party said in a meeting.
“If Brussels says I cannot do it, I do not care, I will do it anyway.”

Italy’s coalition government has drafted a budget that raises the public deficit target to around 2.4 per cent of GDP for the next three years, up from an initial target of 0.8 per cent.

This will most likely push the country’s public debt above its current level of 131 per cent of GDP.

EU officials on Friday warned that the proposed budget could be catastrophic for both Italy and Europe at large.

 “It is a budget which appears to be beyond the limits of our shared rules,” noted Pierre Moscovici, who runs the European Commission’s economic and finance portfolio.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday described the new budget as “serious, thought-through and courageous” and said it was the “right recipe for growth and social development”.

“We have worked very intensely over the last few weeks for a serious, meditated and brave budget,” he added.

Speaking to journalists outside his office, Conte stressed the importance of investments in the budget to stoke growth.

Italy is the third biggest economy in the eurozone after Germany and France.