Renzi says Italy reforms will point way for EU

IMG class=hide alt=”Renzi says Italy reforms will point way for EU” src=”” (By Sandra Cordon) (ANSA) – Rome, March 21 – As Italy continues getting its own fiscal house in order, it will be able to help lead the rest of Europe away from an obsession with austerity towards policies designed to boost growth, Premier Matteo Renzi said Friday. PAs he left his maiden appearance at a European Union summit, Renzi – leader of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) who became premier last month – sounded confident that he had won support from other EU leaders for his domestic reforms./PPThose, he suggested, may also prove to be something of a model for the rest of Europe, particularly as Italy prepares for its duty presidency of the 28-member EU in the second half of this year./PPIndeed, “the most important topic discussed” at the EU summit in Brussels that closed Friday concerned “reforms and time lines for reforms,” said Renzi. “Italy can get there with a lot to do and say, only if first we’re able to put in place this gigantic work on reforms”./PPLast week, the fledgling premier unveiled a broad reform plan that includes cuts to income taxes for low-income Italians by 10 billion euros, slicing 2.4 billion euros from business levies, investing 1.74 billion euros in social housing programs, spending 3.5 billion euros on schools, and repayment of 68 billion euros in outstanding bills for government services by July./PPAt the same time Renzi, 39, has maintained that he will keep the books within the EU-mandated limit of a 3% deficit-to-GDP level by financing his plans through cuts to existing spending plans rather than running up bills./PPStill, he has suggested that such limits are outdated, courting concerns from some senior EU officials who worried that Renzi was considering breaching those limits. Renzi also warned that while Italy’s deficit for 2014 will remain under the 3% limit, it would not likely drop as low as the 2.6% that was previously forecast./PPThat initially triggered concerns for European Commission President Jos

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