Confindustria chief blasts Italy's 2012 austerity measures

Warns more tightening may worsen economic woes

Confindustria chief blasts Italy's 2012 austerity measures

Milan, June 10 - The head of the powerful Italian industry federation Confindustria on Monday blasted austerity measures taken by the government last year to tackle sovereign debt crisis, and warned that more austerity was unlikely to provide answers to the country's current economic woes. "If rigor and austerity reduce our social fabric to its knees and the patrimony of our companies to the point where others can come shopping and take home our best pieces at discount prices, we must say no," Confindustria President Giorgio Squinzi told a conference of the federation's Lombardy branch, Assolombardo, in Milan. Squinzi warned that the accepted wisdom touted by Italy's European partners and the International Monetary Fund had only aggravated Italy's economic squeeze. "By accepting monetarist cliches, we ended up compromising our domestic market," Squinzi said. "Keeping to the dictates of austerity as an end in itself and aseptically accepting to reduce the GDP-debt ratio, without any economic logic to accompany this choice". Squinzi added that the policy has even failed to achieve its original aim. "When the Monti government took office, the debt-to-GDP ratio was 117%. Now we are at 127% and the forecasts for this year take us to at least 132%," he said.

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