'Italy's economic backlog unacceptable'

'Italy's economic backlog unacceptable'

World October 9, 2018 15:32

rome/brussels - The Italian economy remains 'in an unacceptable way' and at least seventeen million Italians have therefore come into great difficulties. This is what the Treasury Secretary Giovanni Tria said on Tuesday in the margins of a session with the Parliament's Finance Committee.

Tria said that the deficit of Italy can no longer be sustained, especially against the background of economic growth in other euro countries. And the reason that the national debt can not be tampered with is precisely those low growth figures, Tria argued.

According to the minister, the government aims to make the size of the national debt considerably smaller. Currently, this national debt amounts to 130 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). Only a few countries are worse off in that respect.

The government coalition of the right-wing populist Lega and the protest party M5S (Five Star Movement) does not want to cut back in spite of the debt. She wants to spend more money because it would help economic growth.

As a result, the budget deficit will reach 2.4 percent of GDP next year. The European Commission had agreed with the previous government a deficit of 0.8 percent for 2019 and already warned Tria by letter for violating agreements.

After a meeting with the Italian Chamber President Roberto Fico (M5S) in Brussels on Tuesday, committee chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said he hoped that the conversation would 'get the cold out of the air'. 'Both agree that Italy is and will remain at the heart of the European project,' said the Juncker spokesman. Italy has to send its draft budget to Brussels for 15 October for assessment.

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