Concerned over Italy economy regression

PM hasn't changed mind on quota 100, basic income - Gurria

(ANSA) - Rome, April 2 - Europe is concerned over Italy's economic "regression", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Premier Giuseppe Conte in Rome Tuesday.
    Rome must make "further efforts" to stoke growth, the EC chief told the Italian premier.
    In other remarks, Juncker recognised Italy was coping with a heavy migrant burden and said the EU should show greater solidarity.
    Conte reacted by saying "the economic slowdown was forecast" and that the framework of the DEF economic blueprint "will not change." He said he was counting on approving by the end of the week a growth decree "with measures able to give impetus to growth both effective and potential".
    On migrants, he said coordination of coast guards was no use unless burden sharing changed.
    Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini said in response to Juncker's concern over an Italian economic "regression" that "if we'd listened to Europe we'd be in our underpants now".
    He said that "in the last few years European bureaucrats have damaged the Italian economy...
    "Luckily, on May 26 (at the EP elections) things will change," he said.
    Conte went on to have an hour-long meeting with OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria at the premier's office.
    Afterwards, Gurria said said the encounter had gone "very well".
    He said it was "intense, cordial and productive".
    But on the government's two flagship measures, the quota 100 early retirement scheme and the citizens' wage basic income, Gurria said, the premier "has not changed his mind" despite an OECD call Monday for both to be scrapped.
    In its country report Monday the OECD said the measures would make Italian finances unsustainable.
    Gurria added that "we both concur that the Italian economy will slow down. Because the slowdown will be global and European," the latter largely due to Germany.
    "For Italy GDP (growth) will be around zero. We think a bit less, the premier a bit more, but we concur on the slowdown".
    Gurria said the analysis in the OECD's country report "is an objective contribution" that the Italian government can "use in the upcoming talks" on the DEF economic blueprint.
    He said "then the government must take a political decision" based on "reality".