Italy

With Brexit, economic vitality is not the first priority

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In most countries, the government claims to be doing what's in the economic best interest of its citizens. In general, this helps the cause of capitalism. Now, the oldest democracy in the world is taking the opposite route.

What's happening: This week saw the release of three separate worrisome official reports on the economic consequences of Brexit.

Italian official: Nothing will come from Brussels budget standoff

From L-R: Five Star's Di Maio, Prime Minister Conte, Lega's Salvini. Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Italy's populist government is offering only limited concessions to the European Commission, which rejected Rome's big-spending budget last month and said the country risked "sleepwalking into instability."

Where things stand: The budget includes a deficit target of 2.4% of GDP, which Brussels says is too high for the debt-strapped country. Finance Minister Giovanni Tria has said the government must consider “the fears of our European partners," but Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said today that the government wouldn't consider bringing the target below 2.2%, per Bloomberg.

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