Last month, the Commission rejected Italy’s budget, saying it was in breach of EU fiscal regulations and could further increase the country’s enormous public debt.

Moscovoci said that while the EU may have to impose sanctions on Italy, he would rather avoid doing so.

“I was never in favour of sanctions. Sanctions are always a failure,” he said at a meeting of EU finance ministers.

“I want a dialogue, but sanctions can be finally applied if we cannot reach an agreement.”

Italy has just under a week to revise its budget plan before a November 13 deadline, after which the EU will make its decision.

Italian Finance Minister Giovanni Tria reiterated on Monday that the coalition government would not change its budget plan, which outlines a public deficit target of 2.4 per cent of GDP, three times the target of its centre-left predecessor.

Tria defended the plan, insuring it would increase economic growth in the eurozone’s third largest economy.

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini echoes Tria’s comments, declaring his refusal to change the plan.

“No little letter will make us back down. Italy will never kneel again,” Salvini said.