Lunedì, 15 Ottobre 2018

Business chiefs encouraged after meeting Monti


(ANSA) - Rome, September 5 - Business leaders expressed
optimism that constructive measures will be found after a key
meeting in Rome Wednesday with Italian government leaders.
Premier Mario Monti, ministers and other high government
officials for the economy, labor and European Affairs met with
association leaders for banks, businesses, industry, insurance
companies and cooperatives.
During the meeting, which addressed productivity and
growth, Monti compared the difference between Italy's
productivity and that of Europe's strongest economies to the
spread between Italy's bond rates and Germany's.
Italian government members will meet with union chiefs next
week on the same topic to try to reach consensus on measures to
Giuseppe Mussari, chairman of the bank association ABI,
said the Italian government promised during the meeting that no
further hikes to the value added tax, which is currently 21%.
An 2% increase was planned for October in the government's
December Save Italy austerity package, but Monti's
administration subsequently said this had been put back until
next year thanks to money raised with cuts after a review of
public spending.
"We encountered a constructive climate," said Giorgio
Squinzi, president of Italy's powerful industrial employer's
confederation Confindustria, commenting on the meeting.
"The competent ministers answered promptly, and this can be
the start of a dialogue we hope can continue," Squinzi added.
Squinzi earlier in the day criticized the government for
not providing an industrial policy, and proposed reducing income
tax to help stimulate consumption.
"I believe I can say that the government will propose
something on research and innovation, even if perhaps it won't
be on the scale that we maintain would be sufficient," Squinzi
said after the meeting.
"The pharmaceutical industry was subject in recent months
to numerous provisions that weakened it.
"This sector is strategic for the country, because it does
research and innovation. Instead of penalizing it, it should be
Squinzi continued by expressing deep concern for Italy's
youth unemployment, which he said was over 35%.
Giorgio Guerrini, chairman of a network of businesses
called Rete Imprese Italia said: "the answers that the
government gave were very pragmatic. We have seen in the past
the policy of making promises that one knew could not be
maintained. Fortunately, that phase is over."
Guerrini said he asked the government to reduce taxes on
productivity increases, reduce the tax burden of employees,
streamline bureaucracy, and help businesses reduce the cost of
Luigi Marino, chairman of the cooperatives' alliance,
called the meeting "a positive encounter".

photo: Confindustria Chief Giorgio Squinzi (right) and Giuseppe
Mussari, chairman of the bank association ABI.

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