Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Letta more optimistic after European tour

English
© ANSA

Rome, May 2 - Italy's new Premier Enrico Letta said
Thursday he was more optimistic about the future after meeting
European leaders this week.
''I return to Rome more optimistic than when I left,'' Letta
said after his first talks with key European leaders.
''There is an awareness that we have in common - European
citizens must see Europe as a means for positive, not negative
solutions''.
Mr Letta said he had ''a number of ideas'' to put to a
summit of European leaders in June ''to give concrete signs,
especially to fight youth unemployment''.
On Tuesday the new Italian premier met German Chancellor
Angela Merkel in Berlin and on Wednesday he was French president
Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
On Thursday he met European Commission president Jose'
Manuel Barroso, who said he was confident that Italy would
reduce its deficit.
''We need more urgent efforts for growth,'' Barroso said
at a media conference in Brussels after his first talks with
Letta.
Barroso also emphasised the need to put a plan in place in
June to fight youth unemployment.
Italy's unemployment reached a 20-year high of 11.5 percent
in March.
But almost one in four young people between the age of 15
and 24 are unemployed.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
on Thursday delivered a fresh blow to the new government's
economic outlook saying it expected Italy's GDP to fall by 1.5
percent this year before rising only 0.5 percent in 2014.
The OECD said poor competitiveness, a fall in bank lending
and the impact of spending cuts and tax increases on businesses
and households was undermining growth.
Letta said he had told Barroso he ''intended to maintain
the commitments made by the previous government to the
commission'' regarding its deficit and debt-reduction
commitments.
He said the government would outline its plans to Brussels
in the coming weeks regarding its commitments.

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