Reuters International

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi gestures during a news conference in Rome, Italy, April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli


ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he has been ordered to pay 2,047 euros (1,589.07 pounds) to Italy's tax enforcement agency after forgetting to pay a fine.

Renzi said on state television RAI late on Wednesday he had received a text message from his wife while he was attending a recent G7 meeting, telling him a payment demand had arrived in the post.

"There were journalists present, I looked at the message and said ..., oh darn, look what's happened, I have to pay Equitalia," Renzi said, adding: "Fines must be paid, the problem is sometimes the process is a bit complicated."

The 41 year-old premier has pledged to abolish the unpopular Equitalia by 2018 and create a more "user-friendly" system.

Renzi gave no details about the chain of events leading to the payment demand, saying only it related to something that happened "a few years ago".

He called for a system where you could be reminded to pay fines by text message and then you could pay them by "pressing a button."

He said as things stand it could easily happen that those owing money to the state in taxes or fines could forget about a demand payment, or fail to see one, perhaps because of a problem with the postal system.

"That's what happened to me - I forgot," he said, to laughs from the studio audience. ($1 = 0.8920 euros)

(Reporting by Isla Binnie and Gavin Jones Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)


 Reuters International