Investors snub Italian bonds amid budget spat with EU

Investors snub Italian bonds amid budget spat with EU
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte, center, check his phone as he is flanked by his two deputies Luigi Di Maio, left, and Matteo Salvini, sipping a coffee, during a discussion on an anticorruption decree, at the Lower Chamber of Deputies, in Rome, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)

MILAN (AP) — Investors are snubbing Italian bonds amid concerns over a dispute between the nation’s populist government and the European Union’s executive Commission.

Orders for the four-year Italian bonds on Thursday reached 2.16 billion euros (.47 billion), well below the more than 8 billion euros expected and the second-worst result ever. The record high was 22.2 billion euros in November 2013, while the lowest level was 1.73 billion euros in June 2012.

Italy risks sanctions after the European Commission warned Italy that its budget plans are in serious breach of eurozone rules.

Italian Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio told reporters that he hopes Italy can persuade the EU of the necessity to spend to help pensioners, the jobless and the young.

Alluding to the many public budget cuts Italy has enacted since the financial crisis, Di Maio said: “They can’t treat Italy this way after years of massacres.”