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Time when EU remote-controlled Italy over - Renzi (3)

'We no longer cap in hand to Brussels'

(ANSA) - Rome, January 15 - Premier Matteo Renzi said Friday the time when the EU ordered Italy about by remote control was over. Speaking on TG5, he said amid a spat with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that "Italy has completed reforms and therefore the time in which they could remote control policies from Brussels to Rome is over". He said "the time when we used to go cap in hand is over". Renzi said that budget flexibility was only introduced by the EU "after Italy asked for it in a very very very insistent way". He added: "Flexibility means common sense, having an economic policy that thinks more about employment and less about austerity and iron-clad budget rules". The premier was speaking amid an unusually sharp exchange with Juncker, who had chided Renzi for criticising the EC. Renzi also vowed to come down with "an iron fist" on slackers in the civil service, and to fire those guilty of chronic absenteeism.


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