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Rehn increases pressure on Italy over reforms

Must boost recovery, create jobs, says EU economy commissioner

12 March, 12:13
Rehn increases pressure on Italy over reforms (ANSA) - Strasbourg, March 12 - European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn on Wednesday called on Italy and France to pass economic reforms in order to boost growth.

"We expect further efforts on reforms to foster recovery and create jobs," Rehn told a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

"The message given to large countries in the eurozone has been and continues to be that of a strong need for Italy and France to intensify economic reforms in order to attain growth, competitiveness and create jobs" while "there is a clear need to strengthen and stimulate internal demand in Germany, in particular public and private investments," he said.

Last week Rehn told Rome to adopt urgent measures after the European Commission said Italy was under "specific monitoring" over its macroeconomic imbalances.

Italy's longest postwar recession officially ended with flat growth in the third quarter of last year and a 0.1% rise in the last quarter, but unemployment is still running at a record high and businesses are struggling to recover.