Naples

Indebted Italy 'must look to spending cuts' says Napolitano

President says policies should avoid worsening tax burden

Indebted Italy 'must look to spending cuts' says Napolitano

Naples, November 19 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Monday said Italy must tackle its massive public debt by reducing spending rather than increasing taxes. "(The debt) is a weight that we need to get rid of with austerity policies that aim to reduce spending more so than with policies that will only worsen the tax burden," he said. The central bank said Tuesday that the public debt climbed to a record 1.9951 trillion euros in September, 19.5 billion euros higher than in August. This occurred despite tax revenues increasing by 280 billion euros in the first nine months of this year, a 2.6% increase on the same period in 2011, following tax increases introduced by the government in order to put Italy on track to balance its budget in structural terms next year. "We can't look to austerity indefinitely in the future," said Napolitano Monday, "but we can't kid ourselves about the debt issue".

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