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23 December 2013

Reuters: Italy PM Letta pledges reform pact in January

Letta said 2014 would be the year in which a new generation of leaders could launch reforms to pull Italy out of two decades of stagnation.

"I have been part of this change and I feel the full weight of responsibility. This generation will have the opportunity of changing Italy and I am convinced it can do it", 47-year-old Letta told the traditional end-of-year news conference. "We have the most complex part of this crisis behind us and we have to be in a position to take advantage of some important opportunities", he said.

Letta dismissed suggestions that his authority could be undermined by the election of Matteo Renzi as head of his centre-left Democratic Party (PD), saying the 38-year-old Renzi's arrival was part of an "unprecedented" generational change in Italian politics. "This new generation will play a team game in a different way", he said, shortly before the 2014 budget cleared its final parliamentary hurdle in a confidence vote in the Senate.

An overhaul of both the current electoral law and a parliamentary system that makes it difficult for any party to win a stable governing majority would come before European parliamentary elections in May, he said.

He said the extra credibility his government had won in the eight months of its existence had already cut borrowing costs for Italy with interest payments on its €2 trillion debt expected to reach €83 billion in 2013, down from an estimated €89 billion forecast last year.

Full article

Letta and Napolitano advocate economic growth in Italy and Europe

On 18th and 19th December 2013 the annual ambassadors conference took place in Rome. The President of the Italian Council, Enrico Letta opened the meeting stressing that economic growth was a strategic goal for Italy and for its foreign policy. He also said that growth of 1 per cent in 2014 and 2 per cent in 2015 was an achievable goal for the country if interest rates do not rise. He highlighted that economic growth should always be linked to public finance stability. On 19th December the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano spoke putting forward the outlook for European integration whilst the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU is drawing closer. In his opinion new legislation based on growth and an EU far from "technocracy" was necessary to win citizens' support for European debate.

Further reporting © Farnesina

© Reuters

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