Italian Senate OKs budget, tweaked to satisfy EU concerns

ROME (AP) — After a raucous marathon session, the Italian Senate early Sunday approved a national budget law that was tweaked after the European Union objected to plans by Italy’s populist government to satisfy expensive campaign promises with a large deficit.

The budget, which was revised by the government so the European Union wouldn’t trigger sanctions, faces a Dec. 31 deadline for final approval in the lower Chamber of Deputies. Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio, who heads the euroskeptic 5-Star Movement, assured supporters via Facebook that funding in the 2019 budget would allow the coalition government to fulfill its pledges early in the year. They include rolling back pension changes and guaranteeing a minimum income for jobless or underemployed Italians.