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‘Tackling Italy's bureaucracy is key’

By AFP - Jun 04,2014 - Last updated at Jun 04,2014

ROME — An overhaul to slim down and speed up Italy's overweight bureaucracy will help boost "all-out structural reforms", Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said this week.

"All the other reforms will come from this one. Coming up with good laws is useless if they cannot then be implemented," Padoan said at a press conference in Rome.

The public administration reform promoted by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government is currently being debated in parliament.

"Italy's growth is still weak and has to be reinvigorated with all-out structural reforms," Padoan added, after gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.1 per cent in the first quarter.

He noted that Italy's privatisation programme, which according to some estimates could raise up to 12 billion euros a year, would add 0.7 percentage points to GDP growth per year.

Padoan said the key theme for Italy's presidency of the European Union (EU) starting next month would be "jobs and growth" and called the ongoing debate over the need or not for budget austerity "sterile and even dangerous".

He said Italy will focus on improving the EU's internal market, structural reforms and financing growth, as well as measures to ensure long-term investment in Europe's economy.

"I want concrete results to help the next European Commission," said Padoan, a former chief economist at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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