Bank of Italy says reform, fiscal consolidation must go on

Monti measures will improve national accounts, says bank

Bank of Italy says reform, fiscal consolidation must go on

(see related stories) Rome, January 18 - The Bank of Italy said on Friday that the country must continue with the policies of fiscal consolidation and economic reform embarked on by outgoing Premier Mario Monti's government. "It is indispensable to consolidate the rebalancing of the public accounts in Italy and to intensify reforms aimed at reviving competitiveness and raising the potential for growth," the central bank said in a report. It added that Monti's 'Save Italy' austerity budget of tax hikes and spending cuts passed to reassure the financial markets that the country was putting its economic house in order would improve the national accounts in 2013 and 2014. The package was passed late in 2011 soon after Monti took the helm of an emergency administration of unelected technocrats after Silvio Berlusconi resigned as premier with Italy's debt crisis in danger of spiralling our of control. Italian voters are set to elect a new government next month. Former European commissioner Monti is standing for office, but his new reform ticket backed by centrist parties was only fourth in the polls released Friday by the SWG agency with 13.7% of voters intending to back it. The centre-left alliance of Pier Luigi Bersani led with 33%, Berlusconi's centre-right coalition was second with 27.2% and the populist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) of Genoa comedian Beppe Grillo was third with 16.8%.

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