Italy's 5-star wants expansive economic policy, aims to reduce debt

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Anti-establishment 5-Star Movement Luigi Di Maio smiles during a news conference at the Foreign Press Club in Rome

Anti-establishment 5-Star Movement Luigi Di Maio smiles during a news conference at the Foreign Press Club in Rome, Italy, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

ROME (Reuters) - The leader of Italy's 5-Star Movement said on Tuesday the anti-establishment party would put forward an expansive economic policy and aim to reduce debt if called to form a government.

5-Star emerged as Italy's biggest party from a national election on March 4, behind a center-right coalition, but neither group got enough seats to form a working majority.

"We need to adopt expansive economic policy, but with a view to reducing the debt," the movement's leader and aspiring prime minister Luigi Di Maio told foreign reporters. Italy has the second-highest debt in the euro zone as a proportion of output, after Greece.

Di Maio said he thought there was flexibility to change the parameters of the European Union's economic rules, an aim it shares with the far-right League, which leads the center-right.

Di Maio added that 5-Star "wants nothing to do with extremist parties in Europe."

(Reporting by Gavin Jones, writing by Isla Binnie)