Italy's public debt hits record 2.1072 trillion euros

Up 17.5 billion in February, country under Europe's microscope

14 April, 11:06

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, APRIL 14 - Italy's massive public debt hit a record 2.1072 trillion euros in February, the central bank reported Monday. The amount was up 17.5 billion euros since January, the Bank of Italy said.

    The European Commission has criticized Italy's 2014 budget for not doing enough to bring down debt, around 132% of gross domestic product (GDP).

    As a result it has put Italy under "specific monitoring" over its "excessive macroeconomic imbalances", which include high debt and poor competitiveness, as part of an in-depth review.

    Italy's 2014 budget was passed by ex-premier Enrico Letta.

    Meanwhile his successor, Matteo Renzi, has unveiled a major package of tax cuts and investments to revive the weak Italian economy, and last week his administration approved an economic blueprint that aims to balance the budget in structural terms by 2016. The blueprint, or the Economic and Financial Document (DEF), says the debt-to-GDP ratio is set to rise to 134.9% in 2014.

    European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn's spokesperson said Wednesday that the EU welcomed aspects of Renzi's blueprint, but reminded Italy that it was obliged to balance its budget in structural terms.

    "Italy must balance the budget to reduce its debt and be in line with (EU) rules," he said.(ANSAmed).

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