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Privatizations and reforms will stimulate growth says Padoan

Debt-to-GDP ratio at 2.6% this year says new econ minister

25 February, 18:20
Privatizations and reforms will stimulate growth says Padoan (ANSA) - Rome, February 25 - Italy must stimulate economic growth while decreasing its public debt, newly appointed Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Tuesday in his first statement since taking office.

"The ongoing privatization program and the government's planned reforms will achieve these aims," the minister said, citing European Commission winter 2014 estimates for Italy.

Italy's deficit-to-GDP ratio in 2013 was equal to 3%, in line with EU treaties, Padoan said. That figure will drop to 2.6% this year, lower than the 2.7% EC estimate and closer to Italy's own forecast of 2.5%, Padoan said.

"This is due to dropping interest rates on public debt and lower country risk," the minister said, adding that the EC has lowered its estimates of Italy's public debt from 134% to 133.7% of GDP. "The Commission said foreign investments in Italy will pick up for the first time since 2010, at rates higher than those recorded over the past decade. That amounts to a trend reversal that will be key to creating employment," the minister said.