Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018

Letta upbeat on government prospects


(By Kate Carlisle)
Rome, July 9 - Structural reforms must continue
in Italy since they will ensure improvements in the country's
economy, but the country is not in need of a European Union
bailout, Premier Enrico Letta said on Tuesday.
"Reforms already introduced will bring good results. I am
sure that growth will arrive," Letta said in an interview with
BBC's Radio 4.
Italy is in the "forefront" in the EU for fiscal
consolidation, the Italian premier said.
Letta, who was sworn in on April 28 at the helm of a
broad coalition government, has vowed to lift Italy out of its
longest recession since World War II.
Since taking office he has had to tackle trying to find a
solution for the unpopular property tax called IMU, push for key
reforms and attempt to smooth over internal battles threatening
to destabilize his unprecedented left-right government.
Despite internal rifts, Letta said that he remains "very
confident about the future because we have a broad consensus in
Parliament and in the country".
However, Letta told the BBC that the Italian political
system risks losing credibility if it is not reformed.
One of Italy's main stumbling blocks is that there are
"too many politicians and that they benefit from too many
privileges," Letta said.
"One of the main aims of our work is to reform Italian
politics," said the premier.
In one move towards reforming the country's top-heavy
bureaucracy, last Friday the cabinet launched a bill to get rid
of provincial administrations, widely seen as an unnecessary and
expensive layer of administration.
Eliminating the provinces would leave the central
government to deal with the regions and municipalities without
having to go through the provinces, cutting costs, employees and
red tape.
Letta, who will be in London July 16-17 to meet
British Prime Minister David Cameron, will discuss, among other
issues, the UK's membership in the EU.
Cameron has said he wants Britain to stay in the EU, but
only if it is reformed, and plans to hold a referendum on
membership if he is re-elected at the next general election.
"It's a good thing that Great Britain stays on board,"
Letta said at a G8 meeting in June.
"The main issue (at the London meeting) will be how to tell
the English that it's important for us that Great Britain
remains in the EU.
"The EU would not be better without Britain, on the
contrary, it would be worse".
"We need a different European Union and I'm sure Italy and
the United Kingdom could share many reforms, many changes and
many ideas for the future of Europe," Letta told the BBC.

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