venerdì 15 agosto 2014

Renzi confirms private meeting with Draghi

Premier visited European Central Bank chief at his summer home

(ANSA) - Rome, August 13 - Premier Matteo Renzi on Wednesday confirmed he met privately on Tuesday with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi in rural Umbria. "Yes, I saw Draghi yesterday," Renzi told reporters after visiting the Expo 2015 world's fair site in Milan. "I see him often". Renzi's office earlier refused to comment on reports that Renzi travelled to Citta' della Pieve by helicopter on Tuesday to meet with Draghi at his country home where the central banker is vacationing. There were no details of their meeting but they likely discussed the Italian economy, which has fallen into its third recession in five years.

Renzi's government has said it is confident that Italy will see solid economic growth next year despite data last week showing the economy fell into recession in the first half of this year. At the same time, Draghi said last week that a major contributing factor to Italy's weak gross domestic product (GDP) has been "the low level of private investment" in the country. And much of that is due to investor "uncertainty about (Italy's) reforms, a very powerful brake that discourages investment," Draghi said, noting that countries which have successfully implemented structural reforms have tended to be stronger. "The countries that have convincing structural reform programs are doing better, much better, than those who do not," said Draghi. In an indirect response, Renzi was quoted by the Financial Times newspaper on Monday as saying that Italy was well aware it must undertake structural reforms, but that Rome would not have these imposed by the ECB or anyone else. "I agree with Draghi when he says that Italy needs to implement reforms, but I will decide how we are going to go about them," Renzi told the London-based newspaper. "Not the troika, not the ECB, not the European Commission," Renzi said. The troika is a committee made up of EC, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund to organise sovereign bailouts. 

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