Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attends a news conference regarding the return of former leftist guerrilla Cesare Battisti, in Rome, Italy, January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

A cheaper alternative project for a high-speed rail link between Italy and France “is not on the table”, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in an interview published in the La Stampa newspaper on Thursday.

Italy’s government asked a commission to carry out a cost-benefit analysis to decide whether to complete the rail link, a project that has divided ruling parties in the country.

Conte said the government might evaluate an alternative project “as long as it is solid and doable”.

The prime minister also commented on Italy’s budget, saying that although global growth was not favourable, it was too early to talk about a budget correction.