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Padoan says EC warning 'severe' but appropriate

Economy minister says government committed to act on economy

06 March, 12:12
Padoan says EC warning 'severe' but appropriate (ANSA) - Rome, March 6 - The European Commission sent a "severe" but appropriate warning in a report about Italy's economic problems, raising concerns in line with those of the Italian government, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Thursday. "(The report) highlights structural problems that we have known of for a long time," he said in a radio interview with Gr1.

"We want to kick-start growth and employment and in this way, correct (macroeconomic) imbalances," he added.

Padoan, who until last month was chief economist at the OECD, was responding to an announcement Wednesday that Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn was increasing pressure on Rome to adopt urgent measures after the EC said Italy was under "specific monitoring" over its macroeconomic imbalances. Premier Matteo Renzi has said that next week he will unveil his long-awated Jobs Act to combat record unemployment levels and two-billion-euro plan for Italy's schools.

He said the package will also feature help for Italy's ailing housing and construction sector, which has been hit particularly hard by the economic crisis.

Padoan added that the EC concerns were in line "with what I was saying when I was at the OECD".