Italy Warns EU on Budget Targets as Coronavirus Cases Rise

Italy has warned that the EU should offer flexibility on its budget targets should the country’s sudden coronavirus outbreak in its industrialised northern regions have a prolonged impact on an economy already teetering on edge of a recession, the Financial Times reported. Ten Italians have died from the virus and the infection count has risen to 322. The majority of cases were clustered in the regions of Lombardy and Veneto, which together make up a third of output for the eurozone’s third-largest economy and about half of its exports. Laura Castelli, deputy economy minster, said on Tuesday the EU should be prepared to step in if the Italian economy suffered a severe shock from the disruption caused by the virus. The health crisis has already led officials to close schools and universities in the affected region, the last days of the Venice carnival to be cancelled and many workers told to stay at home. Read more