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Rehn confident Italy will respect EU commitments

'Employment boosters must honor budget limits'

01 April, 12:57
Rehn confident Italy will respect EU commitments (see related) (ANSA) - Athens, April 1 - European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said Tuesday he was confident that Italy will "respect its commitments" and will "make reforms to encourage employment while respecting (EU) budget limits".

Rehn was speaking after an informal Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Athens.

Italy's budget commitments are set out under a European Stability and Growth Pact requiring member states to maintain budget deficit-to-GDP ratios of 3% or less. However, these conditions have forced the government to raise taxes and cut spending, arguably choking off economic growth as the country struggles to emerge from its deepest recession since the Second World War. Rehn also played up economic recovery in the European Union, which he said was "gaining ground". However, he also expressed concern about low inflation and high unemployment across the eurozone. Italy's national statistics agency Istat reported a record 13% unemployment for the month of February.