September 28, 2018 / 4:45 PM / 23 days ago

UPDATE 1-EU's Dombrovskis raises doubts about Italy's fiscal plans

(Adds quotes, background)

RIGA, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The vice-president of the European Commission said on Friday that Italy's preliminary plans for next year's budget did not appear to comply with European Union fiscal rules.

"What emerges so far from the discussions (in Italy) does not seem to be in line with the stability and growth pact," Valdis Dombrovskis told a conference in Riga, Latvia's capital.

His remarks echoed comments made earlier on Friday by EU economic commissioner Pierre Moscovici and followed fiscal plans announced by Italy’s government on Thursday which disregarded previous commitments made by Rome to reduce its huge public debt, the biggest in the EU after bailed-out Greece.

Dombrovskis said the Commission will have a formal reaction after the Italian draft budget is submitted to Brussels in mid-October.

He reiterated that Italy has the highest debt servicing costs in the EU. To lower these costs "it is important to stick to responsible fiscal policies," he said. (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio in Brussels and Gelzis Gederts in Riga; editing by Foo Yun Chee)

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