Juncker urges Italy to stoke growth

Photo: EPA EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Italian PM Giuseppe Conte, Rome, 2 April.

Europe is concerned over Italy's economic “regression” and Rome must make “further efforts” to stoke growth, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Italian PM Giuseppe Conte, meeting him in Rome on Tuesday.

Conte reacted by saying “the economic slowdown was forecast” and that the framework of the DEF economic blueprint “will not change”, ANSA reported. He said he was counting on approving by the end of the week a growth decree “with measures able to give impetus to growth both effective and potential”.

Meanwhile, the OECD published on 1 April its latest Economic Survey of Italy, noting that, after a “modest” recovery, the Italian economy is weakening. “GDP is projected to contract by 0.2% in 2019 and expand by 0.5% in 2020,” the report said. “Expansionary fiscal policy and low growth will push the general government budget deficit to 2.5% of GDP in 2019 from 2.1% in 2018. The 2019 budget rightly aims to help the poor but its growth benefits are likely to be modest, especially in the medium term. The public debt as a share of GDP remains high, at 134%, and is a source of risks,” the OECD said.

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