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Letta says fall in debt shows country on right fiscal path

Debt falls to 132.9% of GDP in third quarter of 2013

22 January, 18:32
Letta says fall in debt shows country on right fiscal path (ANSA) - Rome, January 22 - The decline in the country's debt demonstrates that the government is on the right fiscal path, Premier Enrico Letta said Wednesday.

He spoke after the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said that Italy's national debt had fallen to 132.9% of gross domestic product in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 133.3% for the previous three-month period.

That, said Letta, is "further proof of the goodness of the path of economic policy we have undertaken, a new signal that encourages us to continue on the path of growth policies, while respecting the stability of public finances".

According to Eurostat, this marked the first reduction since the third quarter of 2011 in Italy's massive debt which, in absolute terms, fell from 2.076371 trillion euros to 2.068722 trillion euros.

The savings on the interest on the public debt will free up cash for the government to use on more important issues, including reducing taxes on labour, said Letta who attributed the improvements to his budget policies.

"That's the first effects of the law of stability: less taxes on labor and new funds for (social programs)," he said.