Lunedì, 15 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Napolitano rebuts Berlusconi comments on Fiscal Compact

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, September 18 - Italian President Giorgio
Napolitano on Tuesday rebutted former premier Silvio
Berlusconi's comments that the European Union's Fiscal Compact
is bad for economic growth.
At the weekend, Berlusconi described the Fiscal Compact
for tighter budget discipline and union that 25 of the EU's 27
member States signed earlier this year as "a package of
regulations that impede growth".
Napolitano, however, does not agree.
"It is necessary to continue on the necessary road of
strictness and accompany austerity with measures for growth,
without violating commitments taken commonly, such as the Fiscal
Compact," said the head of state after a meeting in Rome with
his Czech counterpart Vaclav Klaus.
"There is no contradiction between austerity and growth,"
added Napolitano, who was influential in paving the way for
Premier Mario Monti to take over the helm of an emergency
government when Berlusconi was forced to quit as premier in
November because Italy looked in danger of being overwhelmed by
the eurozone crisis.
The Fiscal Compact is seen as a key part of the EU's
measures to solve the debt long-term problems that led to the
eurozone crisis.
By accepting the pact, Italy and the 24 other signatories
agreed to insert a balanced-budget rule into their own national
constitutions, committing themselves to "semi-automatic"
sanctions to be triggered if the measures are violated.
Furthermore, countries with a public debt of over 60% of
gross domestic product must bring it under that threshold within
20 years.
Napolitano added that Berlusconi's 2008-2011 government
undertook commitments with the EU that in part led to the Fiscal
Compact treaty.
"No European country could avoid making choices that in
technical terms called for austerity," said Napolitano.
"In this spirit, Italy signed a series of commitments with
full awareness of what it was doing; commitments, which were
signed first by the Berlusconi government and then by Monti's,
that subsequently contributed to the approval of the Fiscal
Compact".
Berlusconi's controversial comments at the weekend ended a
long silence.
The 75-year-old media magnate said he has not yet decided
whether he will run for a fourth term as Italian premier at
elections next year but leading members of his People of Freedom
(PdL) party have said he will be their candidate.
Berlusconi had said he would not stand for another term
after he resigned in November to end his third term as Italian
premier.

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