Rome

Letta sees autumn problems even though recovery is coming

Premier says growth must also create jobs

Letta sees autumn problems even though recovery is coming

(see related stories on 'to do' package, Bonino) Rome, August 9 - Premier Enrico Letta said Friday that Italy risked enduring a difficult autumn, even though he sees the country emerging from its longest recession in over two decades. "There are signs of growth and recovery," Letta told a press conference. "But the social climate it very hard and full of difficulty. This is the greatest risk for autumn". Letta stressed that the government must try to foster economic growth that also creates jobs. Italy's unemployment rate is over 12% and around four-in-10 young people aged 15-24 are out of work. "We are very aware of the fact that his recovery risks being a recovery without job growth," Letta said. "This is a big risk, but we want to work to ensure that it is not anemic growth. It is necessary to link growth to work". On Friday parliament gave definitive approval to a government package of measures deemed urgent to boost growth, including measures to cut red tape and free up around three billion euros for public works projects this year that should create 30,000 temporary construction jobs. Earlier this week parliament passed another decree aimed at fighting youth unemployment, with tax breaks for companies who take on under-30s or turn their temporary or freelance contracts into permanent full-time posts. The decree is targeted at the young people worst equipped to face up to the effects of the recession, such as those without a high-school diploma, those living alone and those who have another person depending on them.

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