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Barroso says Europe will support Renzi reforms

'Positive meeting' between EC president, premier

20 March, 17:26
Barroso says Europe will support Renzi reforms (see related) (ANSA) - Brussels, March 20 - European Commission President José Manuel Barroso tweeted Thursday that "Europe will support reforms in Italy" after a "very positive" bilateral with Italian Premier Matteo Renzi ahead of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels.

Aiming to jolt the sclerotic economy out of a slow recovery from Italy's worst recession since World War II, Renzi plans to cut income taxes by 10 billion euros, invest 1.74 billion euros in social housing programs, spend 3.5 billion euros on schools and repay 68 billion euros in outstanding bills, among other things.

Earlier in the day, Barroso seemed to raise concerns regarding Italy respecting its budget commitments, prompting Renzi to insist that Italy was indeed in compliance.

On Monday Renzi received a powerful vote of confidence in his reforms from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, head of Europe's biggest economy, who called the measures "ambitious" after a bilateral with Renzi.