Letta says Italy's EU presidency will focus on growth
New approach needed after five years of austerity, says premier15 October, 14:14
Letta has been lobbying for the EU to put greater emphasis on stoking growth and fighting unemployment since he was sworn in at the helm of a left-right grand-coalition government in April.
Under the emergency technocrat administration of Letta's predecessor, Mario Monti, Rome adopted EU-mandated austerity policies that helped move Italy out of the centre of the eurozone debt crisis, but deepened the country's longest recession in over two decades.
The main advocate of those austerity policies is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was recently re-elected for a third term. "The last parliamentary term of the European Parliament was very hard," Letta said referring the EP session running from 2009 to 2014. "Next year we will have the duty presidency of the EU and will work so that the next legislative term will be one of growth after five years of austerity," added the premier, referring to the five-year EP term that will follow European elections in May next year.