Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018

Balancing budget is not enough, warns Italian government


Rome, October 31 - Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli
warned Wednesday that hitting the government's target of
balancing the national budget next year is necessary to haul
Italy out of the economic crisis, but it is not enough.
Grilli said Rome also has to start making inroads to bring
down the country's massive national debt, which Eurostat this
month said has reached a record high of 126.1% in relation to
gross domestic product (GDP).
"Reducing the public debt is a fundamental commitment,"
Grilli said.
"Balancing the budget in 2013 is a guarantee, but we know
it's not enough. We have to do more," he added, citing the
example of the need to identify public property that could be
sold to raise revenue to cut the debt.
The government said Italy should balance the budget in
structural terms in 2013 after it passed a tough austerity
package last year and recently presented new budget measures in
the so-called Stability Law bill, which is currently in
On Wednesday Grilli ruled out the hypothesis that it may be
necessary to pass more budget measures early next year to
balance the budget.
He also said he was "very optimistic" that the government
will find a compromise on amendments to the Stability Law, which
has been blasted by the two main parties supporting Premier
Mario Monti's emergency technocrat administration - the
centre-left Democratic Party and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's
centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party.
PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani has said his MPs would veto
education cuts featured in the package.
The PdL is unhappy about a 1% increase in value added tax
and a retroactive reduction in tax deductions for the current
tax year.
The bill also features reductions in income tax in the two
lowest bands and cuts to the national health system of over one
billion euros.

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