Italy considers changing 2013 debt calculations

Country facing challenges in meeting deficit targets

Italy considers changing 2013 debt calculations

Rome, March 21 - Italy's government is considering a draft bill that would permit revisions in how it calculates its 2013 deficit. The European Commission (EC) in Brussels has given Italy more flexibility in how it monitors payments in calculating national debt. That, in turn, would give the country some extra leeway in its debt calculations since it faces major challenges in meeting the deficit and debt targets set by the European Stability Pact. Earlier this month, outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti sent a letter to European leaders at an EU summit in Brussels saying that Italy should be able to use "every possible ulterior margin" within the European Stability Pact to be able to boost growth and employment. Monti's emergency administration implemented austerity measures to comply with European budget commitments but these policies deepened Italy's recession and caused unemployment to rise above 11%. The EC's Late Payments Directive, which came into force in mid-March, aims to ensure public sector contractors are paid promptly and prevent the further accumulation of commercial debt by public administrations.

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