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Italy economy minister: avoiding VAT hike requires offsetting measures

MILAN, April 30 (Reuters) - Avoiding a hike in Italy's sales tax next year would require offsetting measures, or else Rome risks upsetting investors who hold its 2.3 trillion euro ($2.6 trillion) debt, the country's economy minister was quoted as saying.

In an interview with Il Fatto Quotidiano daily published on Tuesday, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said it would be impossible to avert the planned increase in the value added tax (VAT) - expected to yield 23 billion euros in revenues - while also raising public spending and cutting other taxes.

"Something's got to give ... the problem is not bureaucrats in Brussels but the market which owns Italy's debt," he said. ($1 = 0.8940 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za Editing by Peter Graff)