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Italian economy minister says EC's flexibility 'great news'

News 'rewards work' already done, says Saccomanni

Italian economy minister says EC's flexibility 'great news'

Rome, July 3 - The decision by the European Commission to allow for more budget flexibility for countries like Italy keeping the deficit below the European Union's ceiling of 3% was welcomed by Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni on Wednesday as "great news". The news from Brussels "rewards the work done over the last months and wipes away the skepticism of some," Saccomanni said. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced that countries out of an excessive-deficit procedure "will be given more flexibility in the 2014 budget for investments in production and to relaunch growth," said a statement issued by the Italian government shortly after the announcement. "This is the prize for the investment this government has made since the beginning to respect public finance targets," the minister said. Saccomanni said that Italy was on target to "balance its budget in structural terms" in 2013. A country is considered to have balanced its budget in structural terms if government revenues match expenditure when the data is adjusted to take account of fluctuations in the business cycle. "This is the most serious crisis since the end of World War II, but the first signs of stabilization are starting to appear," Saccomanni said. The economy minister stressed that efforts must continue if the country is to "achieve the reversal of recessionary trends in the second half of the year". Italy is expected to have a budget deficit to GDP ratio of 2.9% in 2013. (photo: Confindustria President Giorgio Squinzi and Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni)

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