Rome

Premier says he'll fight unemployment without higher deficit

Letta promises national action plan on youth employment

Premier says he'll fight unemployment without higher deficit

Rome, May 31 - The Italian government will stay within its budget even as it fights youth unemployment, Premier Enrico Letta pledged Friday. During meetings with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Letta said that Italy will have in place a National Action Plan against youth unemployment in time for a EU summit on the issue. But Italy will still remain within budget, and stay below a 3% debt-to-GDP ratio, Letta added. Earlier this week, the European Commission recommended that an excessive-deficit procedure against Italy be closed - rare good news for an economy enduring its longest recession in over 20 years. The EC is closing the procedure it opened in 2009 as Rome has forecast that Italy's budget deficit-to-GDP ratio will be under the 3% threshold allowed by the European Union this year, at 2.9%.

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