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Conte Dodges Deficit Demands and Vows to Revolutionize Italy

  • Premier defends government’s reform plan after Juncker dinner
  • Populists Salvini, Di Maio, pressure Conte to stand firm
Giuseppe Conte on Nov. 25.

Giuseppe Conte on Nov. 25.

Photographer: Pirosschka Van De Wouw/AFP via Gett Images

Updated on

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte pledged to keep “revolutionizing” Italy after a working dinner with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker failed to break a long-running standoff over the populist government’s push to follow through on expensive election promises.

At a Brexit summit of European Union leaders in Brussels Sunday, Conte clearly had other concerns preying on his mind. The premier, a Florence law professor with no previous political experience, told reporters after the summit that he discussed the budget on the meeting’s sidelines with leaders including Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron.