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Despite 'slight recovery, much to be done' in Italy

Target research at businesses, Napolitano says

12 February, 16:21
Despite 'slight recovery, much to be done' in Italy (ANSA) - Rome, February 12 - Italy is showing "a first, slight (economic) recovery", but there must be "awareness that much must still be done," Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on a visit to Portugal on Wednesday.

"In 2012, Europe went through one of the most difficult pages of its history, an unprecedented crisis," Napolitano said at the COTEC European technology symposium in Lisbon.

The Italian head of State added that the 2011-2012 sovereign-debt crisis "forced us to make choices as painful as they were impossible to put off to consolidate public finances".

The forceps of crisis and austerity closed "room for growth and dramatically increased unemployment".

"Italy is still responding inadequately to the challenge of technological innovation and the globalization of markets," added Napolitano, borrowing words from Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco.

Napolitano called for "strongly anchoring the world of research and innovation to enterprise, and in particular to small and medium-sized enterprise".