Mr Giovannini warned that if Istat stopped putting out statistics the government faced "heavy fines" from Brussels.
"Around 70pc of our production of statistics is based on commitments with the European Union," he said.
"We will not issue data on inflation, deficit, household income, job data. That will trigger very high EU fines for our country for every day of delay.
"I do not think the government and the parliament will want to get to that point."How do you say, 'Be careful what you wish for.', in Italian?