Arm-wrestling within the Italian government and between Italy and Brussels to find a solution to the Italian budget and avoid the Excessive Deficit Procedure. After Italy’s exit from a technical recession in H2 2018, economic data are still pointing to weakness, and many risks loom in the second half of this year. Weak growth prospects are making it more difficult to comply with deficit and debt targets, although some savings may come from lower spending. In any case, the 2020 budget is the most challenging test for the government. Besides the persistent challenges we just referred to, short-term technicals and relative value look favourable to Italian debt.