Italy, seven others ask EC to review methods

'Eliminate discrepancies' in output gap calculation methods

(ANSA) - Rome, March 31 - Italy and seven other EU countries have sent the European Commission (EC) a joint letter requesting a review of the method of calculating the output gap, sources said Thursday. The output gap is an indicator used to assess budget adjustments for countries the EC says are failing to meet their objectives. The eight countries asked the EC to "eliminate the time discrepancy" between how it calculates structural surplus (based on two years) and the way individual countries do (based on four years).
    The other signatories to the letter sent last Friday are Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Spain.
    Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan told Le Figaro paper in an interview out Thursday that the European Union's system for calculating debt and budget targets damages Italy and should be changed.


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