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Monti says Italy's reforms have only just begun

Premier says country needed 'bitter medicine'

20 December, 14:16
Monti says Italy's reforms have only just begun (see related stories) (ANSA) - Melfi, December 20 - Premier Mario Monti said on Thursday that Italy has only made a start on the structural economic reforms it needed to revive its economic fortunes.

Monti's emergency technocrat government has introduced a series of reforms aimed at liberalising the economy, which has suffered a decade of sluggish growth, and making the labour market less rigid since taking power last year.

"We are only at the start of the structural reforms," Monti said.

The former European commissioner also justified the tough austerity measures his government had passed to help move Italy from the centre of the eurozone crisis as necessary.

"Italy had a fever 13 months ago and an aspirin was not enough," he said.

"It needed a bitter medicine that was not easy to digest but which was necessary to root out the illness".