Italy’s Di Maio says to cut 500 million euros in arms spending: media

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will cut 500 million euros ($578.25 million) in armaments spending in its 2019 budget, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said in an interview with online media Tiscali News.

“We will scrap 500 million euros in spending for useless armaments, which are not used to defend the country but are only a way of spending money,” Di Maio said, without specifying what would be cut.

Officials from the 5-Star Movement, part of the governing coalition, have repeatedly promised to cut defence spending.

However, Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta has confirmed that Italy is committed to reach Nato’s defence spending target of 2 percent of gross domestic product.

(Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, writing by Giulia Segreti)