Monti warns EU against new belt-tightening measures

Calls for growth-oriented EU budget

Monti warns EU against new belt-tightening measures

Verona, February 6 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti sounded off on Wednesday against passing new European Union budget restrictions. Monti sounded his warning on the day before he is to be in Brussels to participate in an EU summit dedicated to budgets. "Italy maintains that the EU cannot speak of growth as a European economic policy and then adopt a seven-year budget in a sign of restriction. We are trying to improve the quality of European budgets (in terms of) growth," said Monti in the northern Italian city of Verona. "We also consider it essential to improve the way Italy factors in the budget, both (in terms of) the country's contributions toward the European Union and vice-versa," Monti added. "This is one of the cases in which it is legitimate to validate national interests within the European Union. In the budget there must be a growth attitude". Monti is winding up his mandate as the temporary head of a technical government, and is leading a political movement that will go to vote in parliamentary elections Feb 24-26.

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