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Saccomanni says he sees tentative signs of recovery

Economy minister says boosting employment a key priority

14 January, 17:06
Saccomanni says he sees tentative signs of recovery (ANSA) - Rome, January 14 - Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said Tuesday that he sees tentative signs of recovery, but much work remains on boosting growth and employment in Italy.

The public is concerned about those key issues which must be dealt with effectively "both at the national and international levels," he said on the sidelines of a conference on the euro organized by ISPI, a think-tank on global issues.

Saccomanni also defended his government's strategy on the economy, saying there was no need to make changes.

"The agenda is pretty clear".

He spoke after national statistical agency Istat said that Italy's annual inflation rate in 2013 averaged just 1.2% - a dramatic drop from the 3.0% average in 2012, suggesting sluggishness in the economy.

And earlier in the day the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said the recession in parts of Europe may be over but major problems - including high unemployment - linger.

"The recession is behind us, but there is no room for complacency," Barroso said in comments to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Because the jobless rate remains too high in Europe, and small- and mid-sized businesses cannot find money to invest to grow, the economic crisis lingers, Barroso added. Yet there is still room for hope if nations work together, he added.

"I am sure that 2014 will be a year of positive change for the European economy," he said.

"We will work together to make this happen as soon as possible". Unemployment in Italy touched new record highs in November, Istat said in its most recent jobs report.

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