Italy: Government passes new growth bill

Measure opens the door to sale of 10 bln euros in state assets

15 June, 17:48

(ANSAmed) - ROME, JUNE 15 - The Italian government passed a growth measure Friday that aims to incentivize new hires.

Industry Minister Corrado Passera called the bill a set of "concrete initiatives to encourage employing high-caliber personnel". Companies that hire new employees are eligible for tax bonuses, similar to a previous law that incentivized companies to hire workers under 35. Unemployment in Italy is roughly 10%, while youth unemployment is over 35%. The package's 61 articles also include a fund to provide food for the poor, a three-year property-tax break for qualifying businesses and a 50%-tax break for companies that restructure before June 30, 2013. Italian Premier Mario Monti said that growth was a "motivating factor in today's decree," referring to the package as "robust".

The government also passed a measure that opens the door to sell state assets and free up roughly 10 billion euros to stimulate the economy. "Growing the economy and removing State burdens: these were the motivating factors of today's decree," said Mario Monti. The measure allows Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the Treasury's savings and loan institute, to buy out state shares over the next four months in national industrial holding company Fintecna; the SACE agency, which insures foreign investments; and Simest, an agency that finances joint ventures with companies abroad. The CDP will then be free to sell assets belonging to those bodies, according to the bill. Junior Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli said the move should generate roughly 10 billion euros in capital. "It will have a very important impact on revenue," he said. "The first stage will be completed within one month. (The money) will be used for debt reduction, including that which derives from the commercial debt of businesses".(ANSAmed).

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