Florence

EU will ease austerity to help growth says Monti

'Productive public investments', ex-PM tells Florence conference

EU will ease austerity to help growth says Monti

Florence, May 9 - The European Union is set to ease up on austerity and allow Italy to invest to stoke growth, ex-premier Mario Monti told a Florence conference on the State of the Union Thursday. "Much can be done to combine budget discipline and growth," he said, adding that Italy's likely exit from an excessive-deficit procedure would give it "significant room" to help get the economy out of its deepest recession in 20 years. Two ways he cited were long-awaited payments of government debts to businesses and "productive public investments". These two "windows" had been closed by the EU but Monti's recent emergency technocrat government had "convinced the EU with great effort to open them over the course of more than a year".

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