Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018

Monti faces crucial week for euro and growth measures


(ANSA) - Rome, September 3 - Italian premier Mario Monti
prepared Monday for a series of meetings aimed tackling economic
growth and addressing Italy's sovereign debt crisis in a week
deemed crucial for the fate of the euro.
Monti is scheduled to meet French President Francois
Hollande on Tuesday in Rome.
Reforms passed by Monti's temporary government of
technocrats have earned praise from German Chancellor Angela
Merkel, but she and other government voices maintained a hard
line Monday against systemic changes that could ease Europe's
sovereign debt crisis at Germany's expense.
"In a phase this difficult," the weak countries of the
Eurozone "have earned our solidarity and our hope that they
overcome their difficulties," Merkel said Monday at a public
debate in Bavaria.
But a government spokesman confirmed the German government
remains contrary to Eurobonds, which would redistribute the debt
of individual Eurozone countries across the entire Eurozone.
"On this, Berlin's position has not changed," said Stefen
Seibert on Monday.
Meanwhile, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble
cautioned against "excessive expectations" for the next European
Central Bank (ECB) meeting scheduled for Thursday, telling
German public radio that "debts of (Eurozone) states can not be
financed by the European Central Bank," and thus knocked hopes
that the ECB could be empowered to buy troubled bonds of
Eurozone countries.
On Wednesday, Monti is to talk competitiveness with major
Italian business associations - representing industrialists,
enterprises, large cooperatives, banks and insurance companies.
Monti must also contend with demands of major unions,
including Italy's biggest, the left-wing CGIL, which called for
taxes to be dropped on the extra salary that the country's
workers and pensioners are paid in December to help boost weak
consumer spending.
CGIL head Susanna Camusso said the move could be financed
by money raised from the fight on rampant tax evasion in
recession-hit Italy.
Camusso told Rome-based daily La Repubblica that the
government needed to show a "signal of discontinuity" with the
policies it has pursued up to now and "give a little more money
to the workers".
CGIL has been highly critical of many moves made by Premier
Mario Monti's emergency administration, especially its public
sector cuts and reforms of the labour market to make it easier
for firms to fire workers.
Camusso said Italy's unions may call a general strike if
the government does not give "answers" to their concerns.
Italian workers' and pensioners' salaries are paid in 13
installments, with an extra one on December to help with the
spending families traditionally incur over the Christmas period.

photo: Premier Mario Monti with CGIL union leader head Susanna

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