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Spending review chief sees 5 bn euros in savings this year

Pension, budget choices are political, says Cottarelli

18 March, 15:15
Spending review chief sees 5 bn euros in savings this year (ANSA) - Rome, March 18 - Spending Review Commissioner Carlo Cottarelli said Tuesday that as much as five billion euros in savings could be found in the final eight months of 2014, depending on political choices made. Even using the most conservative estimates, savings of three billion euros could be found, he told a Senate hearing.

Similarly on pensions, politicians have choices on where they might cut, "or, you may also decide that you must not touch," retirement incomes, said Cottarelli.

Last week, he noted that if spending on high-cost pensions "which are very high" were cut, billions of euros could be freed up for spending on other budget items, including job creation.

Cottarelli also told the Senate finance committee last week that budget savings could rise to as much as 18 billion euros in 2015 and 34 billion for 2016.

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