Rome: President Sergio Mattarella, who has sought to rein in Italy’s populist leaders, took the government to task for ramming spending plans through parliament and warned that the country’s debt mountain penalises ordinary citizens.

The head of state used his year-end televised address Monday night to issue thinly-veiled reprimands to the coalition dominated by Euro-sceptic Deputy Premiers Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, calling for measures promised in the 2019 budget to be “verified attentively” given the lack of debate.

Mattarella criticised the curtailing of parliamentary discussion as the government rushed to meet a December 31 deadline, after a weeks-long clash with the European Commission.

“I strongly hope that the parliament, the government and political parties can find the way to hold a constructive discussion on what happened, and ensure adequate debate in the future,” Mattarella said.