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PARIS: Pierre Moscovici, the European Union commissioner for economic affairs, said on Thursday he was confident talks with the Italian government would yield an agreement over Rome's budget despite a growing standoff.

"I'm convinced that eventually we are going to get there because it's in the common interest," Moscovici told the finance and European commissions in France's lower house of parliament.

"Dialogue in the current situation is more important than ever. It's impossible to take any measures without talking, without trying to go all the way to correct things, without trying to bring different perspectives together," he added.

The European Commission took a first step on Wednesday toward disciplining Italy over its expansionary 2019 budget after Rome refused to change it, in a dispute that could eventually lead to fines.

Copyright Reuters, 2018