Brussels

Confindustria leader calls payback decree positive

Squinzi concerned over ease of accessing payments

Confindustria leader calls payback decree positive

Brussels, June 6 - The chief of the powerful Italian industry federation Confindustria expressed relief and concern over the green light given to a much awaited decree releasing 40 billion euros to pay off overdue debts that the Italian public sector owes private businesses. "It is a step in the right direction" although the funds "are not sufficient," Confindustria president Giorgio Squinzi said on the margins of a European industry conference. Public debt toward private businesses in Italy has been estimated to be between 50 billion and 140 billion euros, Squinzi said in a speech made at the end of May. "If you ask me, the latest numbers to emerge, of 130-140 billion, are very close to the reality," Squinzi told a meeting of Confindustria members in the northern Italian town of Busto Arsizio on May 27, and explained that the Italian government has been working on, but has not completed, a full assessment. On Thursday in Brussels, Squinzi also expressed worry over the ease of payment under the new decree. "We have doubts about the mechanisms for accessing the payments which are, in any case, money that belongs to the businesses," Squinzi added.

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