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Rehn 'expects Italy to respect 3% deficit-GDP ratio'

Cut debt, unleash firms' 'formidable' growth potential

17 February, 18:13
Rehn 'expects Italy to respect 3% deficit-GDP ratio' (ANSA) - Brussels, February 17 - European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said Monday he expected Italy to continue to respect the EU's Stability and Growth Pact including a 3% limit on budget deficits with respect to GDP. Premier-designate Matteo Renzi has been rumoured to want to renegotiate the limit, for stimulus spending.

"Italy is a deeply pro-European country and I trust it will continue to respect the Treaties, also including the one on stability and growth," Rehn said when asked about the rumours before an EU finance ministers' meeting.

Italy has to cut its "very high" debt - the second-highest in the eurozone after Greece's - and "even more importantly, unleash the formidable potential for growth, dynamism and innovation of its businesses", the commissioner added.

Renzi has vowed to unshackle the Italian economy, slowly emerging from its longest postwar recession, by cutting red tape and labour costs on firms and workers as well as rewarding innovation and boosting research.