> ANSA English > News

Italian govt expects 'significant' growth in 2-3 years

Padoan tells Eurozone ministers tax cuts funded by less spending

10 March, 20:14
Italian govt expects 'significant' growth in 2-3 years (ANSA) - Brussels, March 10 - The Italian government expects to see "significant" results from its economic reforms to boost growth and jobs "within 2-3 years," Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan told eurozone finance ministers Monday. In terms of Italy's gross domestic product (GDP), "my attitude is one of caution. I prefer to estimate on the low side (of growth)," Padoan said after the meeting of his eurozone counterparts.

That suggests Padoan, who was until recently chief economist of the OECD, supports recent forecasts made by the European Commission that Italy would see GDP growth this year of just 0.6%.

Padoan also reassured the other finance ministers that Italy's plan to reduce its labour-related taxes will be covered by spending cuts.

"The priority is to put in place policies to promote growth and employment, without wasting" earlier efforts made to keep Italy's deficit-to-GDP ratio within the European Union-mandated limit of 3%, he said.

Padoan urged his counterparts to give Italy some breathing room to reform its economy, but said that should not take too long as many policies were introduced by Premier Matteo Renzi's predecessor, Enrico Letta.

"Many of the directions of the government are in line with those of the previous government," but the difference now is that Renzi "intends to accelerate," said Padoan.