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Letta stresses focus on young after Rajoy meeting

'We must fight for the EU, banking union, youth job creation'

27 January, 18:42
Letta stresses focus on young after Rajoy meeting (ANSA) - Rome, January 27 - Italy is pulling out of the economic downturn, but the focus must remain on creating jobs for young people, Italian Premier Enrico Letta said Monday after meeting with his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy.

''We expect growth this year in both Spain and Italy. Our target is 1% growth this year and 2% in 2015'', Letta said in Rome.

''The biggest priority is fighting youth unemployment in both our countries as well as in the EU'', he added.

Letta also called for completion of EU banking union and warned that victories by populist, anti-euro parties at European elections could scuttle any such plans.

''Policies that do not take rising euro-skepticism into account are short-sighted'', he went on. ''There are three answers: the populism of those who would cater to the euro-skeptics, the ostrich-like behavior of those who would ignore euro-skepticism, and the pragmatism of those who say Europe is the solution not the problem. We fight for the latter''.

The Italian premier also said he was in favor of an imminent electoral law reform that aims to replace the current law, which was recently deemed unconstitutional and which was blamed for last year's inconclusive general election result leading to Letta's unprecedented right-left coalition.

''I trust that the electoral law initiative and the end of perfect bicameralism will bring about positive results that will only make government stronger. If an agreement is reached, I'll be the happiest of all'', he told reporters.

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