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Italian budget set to be approved, Renzi urges growth action

Italian budget set to be approved, Renzi urges growth action

Investment, growth as important as balanced books, says premier

Rome, 24 November 2014, 15:35

ANSA Editorial




Amid reports the European Union was poised to approve Italy's 2015 budget, Premier Matteo Renzi continued Monday to press for more emphasis on investments in Europe and less on balancing the books.
    Renzi has been arguing strenuously for a shift in focus at the EU level towards permitting greater flexibility in budget rules to allow countries to spend more on investments designed to stimulate sluggish economic growth.
    In presenting his government's 2015 budget to the EU for approval, Renzi agreed to increase the amount earmarked for deficit reduction and according to reports, that has won the budget approval from the European Commission.
    Formal approval is expected later this week after Renzi agreed in early November to take about 4.5 billion euros in new measures to cut its structural budget deficit by 0.3% of GDP in 2015 to satisfy European authorities - more than it initially planned.
    However, EU sources reportedly said that as part of its budget approval, the EU will also say that Italian reforms aimed at boosting growth will be re-examined in March to confirm implementation.
    Countries in the eurozone are required to hold their deficits at or below 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) and work to bring national debt to below 60%.
    Speaking in Vienna after meeting Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, Renzi said that the European Union must think not only about balanced budgets but also making investments for "the future of our children and grandchildren".
    He said that the "coming months will be decisive for Europe" in terms of boosting sluggish economic growth and creating employment.
    Economic growth and inflation in much of Europe has averaged less than 1% recently, leading to fears of lengthy stagnation.


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