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Close watch on Italy's policies

Europe, Rom
17.02.2014
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
EU warns Italy "don't even think it" on budget rules
The European Union warned Italy on Monday to keep its deficit and debt in check, amid indications that its new prime minister might seek to disregard the bloc's economic rules
GALLERY
Brussels (dpa) - Matteo Renzi, who was nominated earlier Monday to form Italy‘s next government, said in a manifesto last year that the country may "think about breaching" EU budget thresholds, if it manages to carry out structural reforms boosting growth and generate jobs.
Italian Democratic Party (PD) leader Matteo Renzi leaves Chigi Palace after a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta (not pictured) in Rome, Italy, 12 February 2014.


Stability and Growth Pact
EU Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn warned Rome to respect the bloc‘s Stability and Growth Pact, which limits member states‘ deficit at 3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and debt at 60 per cent of GDP.

Italy narrowly meets the deficit rule, but its debt stands at more than double the EU target.

"Italy is a very profoundly European country," Rehn said Monday. "I trust that Italy and the Italian authorities will continue to stay committed to the European treaties. And that covers also the Stability and Growth Pact."

Renzi however has previously dismissed the 3-per-cent rule as "outdated," following unsuccessful lobbying by outgoing premier Enrico Letta for the European Commission to loosen the target in order to prioritize measures boosting growth and jobs.
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta looks down during a press conference at Palazzo Cighi, Rome, Italy, 12 February 2014.

Last year, the EU‘s executive denied Rome a highly anticipated clause that would have allowed growth-friendly investments, even if they temporarily push the country over its deficit targets.

Structural reforms and less government debt
Rehn urged Rome to focus instead on structural reforms, as well as efforts to reduce government debt.

"Piling new debt on top of this old debt does not seem to improve the economic competitiveness of Italy," Rehn said.

He said the most important step now was to "unleash the formidable growth potential" of Italy, citing market liberalization and competitive innovation as key to growth and jobs.

"I believe that that‘s the real challenge of any government in Italy," Rehn said.

 

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REISEPORTAL
"ROM", "Rom", or "rom" is an abbreviation and name that may refer to:n computers and mathematic* Read-only memory, a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. This tells the computer how to load the operating system.**
"ROM", "Rom", or "rom" is an abbreviation and name that may refer to:n computers and mathematic* Read-only memory, a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. This tells the computer how to load the operating system.**
| footnotes = }}"Turin" ( ; Piedmontese: "Turin"; ) is a major city as well as a business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River surrounded by the Alpine arch.
| footnotes = }}"Turin" ( ; Piedmontese: "Turin"; ) is a major city as well as a business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River surrounded by the Alpine arch.
| footnotes = }}"Turin" ( ; Piedmontese: "Turin"; ) is a major city as well as a business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River surrounded by the Alpine arch.
| footnotes = }}"Turin" ( ; Piedmontese: "Turin"; ) is a major city as well as a business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River surrounded by the Alpine arch.
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