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Italian antitrust chief says competition cures inequalities

Calls on government to demand EU liberalisation

Italian antitrust chief says competition cures inequalities

(updates previous) Rome, June 18 - The chief of the Italian antitrust authority warned parliament on Tuesday that growth will not return without structural reform that increases competition. "Returning to growth requires structural reforms that increase the country's competitiveness. Policy for competition constitutes one of the most important issues," said Antitrust Authority President Govanni Pitruzzella in a presentation of the watchdog's annual report. "Competition policy is not topical but central," Pitruzzella continued, explaining that promoting competitiveness and economic growth indirectly tackles excessive socioeconomic inequalities "that have characterized Western society in the last decade". Pitruzzella cited economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz saying that "non competitive markets, or worse still, situations of monopoly create income conditions in favour of restricted economic and social groups". Pitruzzella also called for harmonizing the liberalization of markets among all European Union countries. "The existence of non-homogeneous levels of liberalisation in the various States" of the EU represents "an obstacle on the path of reciprocity and the full affirmation of a single market". "We must insist on Italian political institutions to demand the same zeal for guaranteeing the openness of markets that Italy is demonstrating," Pitruzzella demanded.

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