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Van Rompuy, Barroso back Monti reforms

By Toby Vogel  -  28.02.2013 / 16:04 CET
In meetings with Italy's caretaker prime minister, Van Rompuy and Barroso stress importance of continued reform.
Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, have reiterated their support for Mario Monti, Italy's caretaker prime minister, and his reform policies.  

Monti held talks in Brussels yesterday with José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, and today (28 February) with Van Rompuy, following an inconclusive election in Italy earlier this week narrowly won by the centre-left Democratic Party.  

Monti's centrist alliance received 10.5% of votes for the lower house of parliament and 9.1% for the Senate, less than half the support garnered by the anti-establishment movement of comedian Beppe Grillo.  

Van Rompuy said in a statement after the meeting that Monti will still represent Italy at the next European Council, on 14-15 March, which will deal with the co-ordination of economic, fiscal and employment policies.  

In his statement, Van Rompuy backed Monti and his policies. “The structural reforms implemented so far in Italy have helped to restore market confidence and its international credibility,” Van Rompuy said.  

Van Rompuy made it clear that he expects any new administration to continue the Monti reforms. “If continued they will significantly raise Italy's growth potential,” he said. “Italy has also put its public finances on a sounder footing which is an essential condition to ensure growth.”  

Barroso and Monti issued a joint statement after their meeting last night. “Both are convinced that continued and determined action at European and national levels is needed to ensure that the return of confidence into the euro area is sustained,” it said. “The crisis is not yet over and efforts must not be relaxed. This implies pursuing commonly agreed and differentiated reform and consolidation efforts to create growth and jobs and enhancing competitiveness, while ensuring financial stability.”  

“The Commission believes that Italy is undergoing an ambitious reform process that, if fully implemented, will significantly raise its growth potential,” the statement continued. “Italy has also put the public finances on a sounder footing which is an essential condition to ensure growth.”  

“President Barroso expressed his full confidence that Italy, as one of Europe's and the world's biggest economies, will ensure the conditions of political stability in the interest of Italy and Europe as a whole,” it concluded.
© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.
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