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Italy's PM says countries must decide autonomously on web tax

MILAN, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Any decision on whether or not to introduce a new tax that would hit Internet giants falls within a country's sovereign sphere and ties with the United States can have no bearings in such a matter, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference in London after a NATO summit, Conte said Italy's relationship with the United States would always remain a very important one.

"The United States are fundamental and we will always maintain a privileged connection with it but when it comes to ... policy decisions we're a sovereign state," he said in answer to a question on the introduction of a digital tax and possible retaliation from Washington.

"We can exchange opinions and evaluations, but then it's the sovereign state that decides." (Reporting by Valentina Za, Editing by Cristina Carlevaro)