Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
BRUSSELS

Letta hails Italian victory on jobs at EU summit

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)
Brussels, June 28 - Italian Premier Enrico Letta
hailed a victory for Italy at a European Union summit Friday
where a deal was struck on an important six-billion-euro
job-creation fund for young people.
"We have won (the issues) of youth unemployment and
fairness from the European Investment Bank (EIB)," said Letta.
"Youth unemployment has been the principal national
commitment (of this government)".
The deal was cleared after Britain and France settled their
differences over a perceived cut to the UK's totemic budget
rebate.
EU leaders agreed to lay out six billion euros, rising to
eight in 2015, for rampant youth unemployment affecting well
over half young Greeks and Spaniards and more than 40% in Italy.
"Now it's up to the businesses, firms haven't got an alibi
anymore, they can hire young people," Letta told a post-summit
press conference.
However, with the EU economy flatlining in most member
States or in recessions in more fragile nations like Greece,
Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy, Letta cautioned, "we must
not raise our expectations too high on the jobs front".
Italy, added Letta, had managed to "nearly triple our
share" of the fund, bringing the sum up to almost 1.5 billion
euros.
"It's a huge result," added Letta, who specified that the
first billion would be received over the next two years, while
the remaining money would come in the future.
Letta reported that another three billion euros had been
earmarked for future use in the EU.
A pre-summit finance ministers' meeting (ECOFIN) forged a
deal to help struggling banks, seen as a platform for a future
banking union to help backstop the euro, while the summit itself
OK'd a plan to revive EU businesses as part of the bloc's new
seven-year budget of almost one trillion euros.
Letta said that the deal the EU reached for a banking union
will ensure all small savers are protected from any eventual run
on banks.
"Accounts under 100,000 euros will be safeguarded in any
bank crisis that takes place in Europe," Letta told a press
conference in Brussels at the end of the two-day summit in
Brussels.
Letta added that the EIB had to be strengthened to make it
the EU's "arm for the real economy" and that the European
Central Bank (ECB) needed to be protected.
He said that "in some countries there is morbid attention
to the lead role" the ECB has been playing to combat the
eurozone crisis, with its pledge to buy the bonds of countries
facing soaring borrowing costs if this is needed to defend the
euro.
Reflecting on the summit, Letta said that, despite the
last-minute Franco-British tussle, "We've all come out of this
well".

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