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More jobs for women good for economy, says Lagarde

IMF director praises Renzi's 'ambitious' reform plans

04 April, 11:47
More jobs for women good for economy, says Lagarde (ANSA) - Rome, April 4 - Italy has a poor record in terms of women in the labour market, Christine Lagarde, director of the International Monetary Fund, said in an interview published Friday.

"Yours is one of the countries in the eurozone where the participation of women in the labour market is less than encouraging," Lagarde said in an interview with daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

That damages the economy and productivity, she said, calling on the government of Premier Matteo Renzi to take steps to encourage the hiring of more women.

She also praised Renzi's "very ambitious" reform program which she said if implemented, "will produce a significant improvement of economic conditions in Italy".

Renzi's reforms include plans to largely strip the Upper House of its lawmaking powers, transforming it into a leaner assembly of local-government representatives, and reducing the number of Senators; scrapping Italy's provincial governments, and taking back some powers from overspendinging regional governments to streamline governance and save money.

He has also pledged reforms to an unwieldy election law, tax cuts and new spending commitments to try to boost employment and economic growth while remaining within European Union constraints to keep the ratio of the deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) under 3%.