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'2014 is the year of playing on the offensive' says Letta

'Italy will leave debt behind, enact reforms, recover and grow'

03 December, 17:42
'2014 is the year of playing on the offensive' says Letta (ANSA) - Rome, December 3 - Next year will be the year in which Italy leaves debt and recession behind, Italian Premier Enrico Letta said Tuesday at the Senate launch of ANSA news agency's PhotoANSA 2013 photojournalism book.

"2014 must be the year in which Italy not only plans reforms, but enacts them. It will be the year in which we look to the future with confidence, after a year of painful transition", the premier said.

"We need 2013, which has been a year of political and economic transition, to end. We need 2014 to be the year of recovery and growth, which must not be strangled at birth", he added. "I am saying this to whoever believes holding back growth is a way to help not the EU, but to fill the European Parliament with euro-skeptics", warned Letta, a staunch believer in the European Union.

"The growth of debt, which has been going on for years, is over. We will kick off 2014 with a debt decrease", the premier went on.

This, he said, will be the fruit of privatizations and the current budget bill, which is on the floor of Parliament. "The theme of 2014 reforms will be at the heart of my speech to Parliament on Wednesday", said Letta, who is facing a confidence vote December 11 on a revamped reform agenda with his new government ally, the New Centre Right.

The latter recently split from Silvio Berlusconi when the former premier moved into the opposition after being ousted from the Senate on a tax-fraud conviction. "2014 is the year in which we will play on the offensive", the premier concluded.

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