Rome

Grilli defends 40-billion-euro debt payback in parliament

'Stimulus effects visible by mid-2013' says economy minister

Grilli defends 40-billion-euro debt payback in parliament

Rome, March 28 - The Italian economy minister on Thursday said the government's decision to pay back 40 billion euros in public debt over the next two years will produce positive stimulus results by mid-2013. "Injecting liquidity into the economy will jumpstart domestic demand already by the middle of the year," said outgoing Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli. To meet all of its commitments, including social spending, the government announced plans last week to pay back debt by 20 billion euros in 2013 and 20 billion euros in 2014. Grilli was addressing a special committee in parliament, where a political logjam continues as the three parties that gained the most votes in last month's election struggle to find some way to work together to form a new government. His plan has undergone harsh criticism from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) of Beppe Grillo, which holds the balance in the divided parliament.

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