Italian economy slow to respond to change-Visco

Ageing population weighs less on deficit, debt says BoI chief

(ANSA) - Cagliari, November 8 - The Italian economy has been slow to respond to the changes wrought by technology and globalisation, Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said Friday.
    "In Italy the productive system has not succeeded in adapting itself with promptness to the great changes produced over time by technology and globalisation," he said at the opening og the academic year at Cagliari university.
    This has had a negative impact, he said, on "productivity and the economy's growth potential. "The indices that gauge the level of digitization of the EU and the member States put Italy in the last places, with a particularly accentuated gap in its use and competencies".
    Italy's ageing population, he continued, weighed on the budget deficit and the public debt, which is the second biggest in the eurozone after Greece - but the impact was no longer very great because of social security reforms.
    "The ageing of the population causes a growth in spending for pensions and health care which, other conditions being equal, causes an increase in the deficit and debt.
    "In Italy, thanks to the reforms of social security implemented over the last three decades, this factor no longer has a great weight." In other remarks, Visco said Italians were "struggling" in their financial competence.
    He also said the climate crisis risked reducing global GDP by a quarter.
    Visco also addressed the migrant situation.
    He said between 2020 and 2030 some 230 million migrants are expected worldwide but "in Europe the projected arrivals won't be enough to prevent a significant diminution of the people of an active age".