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Italian Senate OKs budget, tweaked to satisfy EU concerns

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ROME (AP) — After a raucous session, the Italian Senate has approved a national budget law that was tweaked in a bid to satisfy European Union concerns.

Much of the Italian government’s planned spending in 2019, which won passage in Parliament’s upper chamber about 3 a.m. Sunday, satisfies the expensive campaign promises by Italy’s populist coalition. Those including rolling back pension changes and guaranteeing income for the jobless or underemployed.

Premier Giuseppe Conte’s government is rushing to win final approval of the budget in the lower Chamber of Deputies later this week. The EU commission could trigger sanctions if the revised budget doesn’t pass by Dec. 31.

Opposition parties are blasting the budget as short on investments to revive Italy’s struggling economy.

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