BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italy expects to be allowed a degree of flexibility on budget commitments to its European Union partners after leaving the bloc's excessive deficit procedure, Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Friday.
"Italy has made very difficult choices, we've imposed very difficult measures on our citizens... and meeting our commitments should be rewarded. The main reward is flexibility," he told reporters in Brussels, adding that the issue would come up with the budget for 2014.
He reiterated that the government would maintain its public deficit below the EU ceiling of 3 percent of output and would keep its borrowing under control.
"But given this, we consider we have every right to manage the budget with more flexibility in coming years," he said.
Letta also said that he did not believe that the legal problems facing Silvio Berlusconi, who is fighting separate sentences for tax fraud and sex offences, would affect the stability of his coalition government, which includes Berlusconi's centre-right party.
(Reporting By James Mackenzie; editing by Steve Scherer)
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