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Bank of Italy chief shouted down, expects tough 2013

Italian GDP expected to contract 1% this year

18 January, 17:46
Bank of Italy chief shouted down, expects tough 2013 (see related stories) (ANSA) - Florence, January 18 - Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said 2013 was going to be another ''difficult year'' during a speech in Florence that was interrupted by protesting students.

Visco said estimates pointed to a 1% contraction in the economy this year even though Italy is set to pull out of recession in the second half of 2013. But he added that the country should stay on the path of financial rigor.

"Achieving balance in the public accounts is the precondition for success," he said.

"The uncertainties that condition the financial markets are linked to tensions related to sovereign debts. They reduce confidence and remove incentives to invest and innovate".

Visco's speech at the University of Florence was interrupted by student protests, which at one point forced the dean to leave the hall where the central banker was holding his presentation to attempt to calm the demonstrators.