Italy to approve new deficit hike to help coronavirus-hit economy

ROME, July 22 (Reuters) – The Italian government will approve a new spending package on Wednesday, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said, the third major cash injection since the start of the new coronavirus outbreak in the country to try to prop up the economy.

The stimulus will be worth at least 20 billion euros ($23.15 billion), political sources told Reuters, driving the 2020 budget deficit well above 11% of national output, compared with a 10,4% goal set in April.

The cabinet will approve the deficit increase at a meeting slated to start at 9 pm (1900 GMT).

Speaking in Parliament, Gualtieri declined to give details but said part of the extra spending would be used to allow people to pay taxes in instalments rather than in a single payment that is currently due in September. ($1 = 0.8639 euros) (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; editing by Gavin Jones, Angelo Amante and Hugh Lawson)

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