MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s deficit for next year is on track to be well below target with public finances going much better than expected, outgoing Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Sunday. “Even under current laws, without other measures, the 2020 deficit would be substantially below the 2.1% of GDP (forecast back in April),” Tria said in an interview in daily Corriere della Sera. He said the 2020 deficit, under current conditions, would be more than 0.3% lower than forecast. But he added that was subject to possible corrections depending on economic growth trends and expectations. Tria said there was room to avoid implementing an unpopular rise in value-added tax next year. But he said Italy’s budget, scheduled to be drawn up in the autumn, would possibly need to find more than 15 billion euros to fund tax cut reforms. Italy’s government, riven by months of infighting, imploded last week, forcing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to resign just as he was to begin preparing the 2020 budget. Talks are under way between political parties to try and form a new coalition government to avoid snap elections and prepare the budget. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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