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Saccomanni says recovery thanks to outgoing govt

Economy minister says new admin must not breach 3% deficit limit

18 February, 14:03
Saccomanni says recovery thanks to outgoing govt (ANSA) - Brussels, February 18 - Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said Tuesday that Italy's return to positive growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 after two years of recession was thanks to Premier Enrico Letta's outgoing government. At a conference related to a meeting of EU finance ministers, Saccomanni said "the recovery... is down to measures we adopted. It's homegrown". Letta quit as premier Friday after losing the support of his centre-left Democratic Party (PD).

PD leader Matteo Renzi is currently in talks with other parties to try to form a new government after he was given a mandate Monday from President Giorgio Napolitano.

Saccomanni warned the new executive not to be tempted to breach the EU's 3% deficit-to-GDP threshold, saying this would come at a high cost in terms of "credibility, reputation, market reactions and (EU) sanctions". He added that it is likely that the European Commission's economic forecasts for Italy on February 25 will be different to the governments, but "better than the commission thought some time ago". The government forecast in September that Italy will have GDP growth of 1% in 2014 and a deficit-to-GDP ratio of 2.5%, compared to predictions of 0.7% and 2.7% respectively by the EU in November. Saccomanni is not likely to be asked to stay in his job by Renzi, according to media reports.

The former Bank of Italy director general said he had not been contacted by anybody about staying on so far.