Rome

Economy minister says Italy committed to deficit slashing

Saccomanni says effort 'must not be slowed down'

Economy minister says Italy committed to deficit slashing

Rome, June 17 - Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said Monday that Italy remained committed to respecting its budget pledges to the European Union and cutting its deficit even as it focuses on a growing unemployment crisis. "The effort of restoring health to the State budget remains one of the priorities of the government's work," Saccomanni said. "The commitment to fiscal consolidation must not be slowed down and the public's contribution is essential in order to be successful". Unemployment in recession-hit Italy recently hit a record high of 12%, with around four of of 10 young people aged 15 to 14 out of work. The minister added that it would only be possible to bring down Italy's high tax burden if cuts are made to public spending. "We have to conciliate limiting spending, which is a essential to be able to reduce the tax burden, with the production of high quality public services," he said. He added that Premier Enrico Letta's government will continue to work with a review of public spending conducted by his predecessor Mario Monti's emergency technocrat administration. This review led to a package of measures passed in 2012 aimed at generating around 26 billion euros in cuts in three years.

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