Ossig: Italy and Europe – it only works together
“It’s good that the new Italian government has plainly tried to dispel the initial uncertainties since taking office. Many members of the government have ruled out leaving the euro and there’s also greater pragmatism when it comes to funding the measures in the coalition agreement,” stressed Christian Ossig, Chief Executive of the Association of German Banks, ahead of today’s Banken-Dialog (Banks in Dialogue) on “Quo Vadis Italia? Europe, the Euro and the New Italian Government.”
At the first event of this kind, the association is playing host to Riccardo Barbieri, Chief Economist at the Italian Ministry of Economics and Finance, Lars Feld, Professor of Economic Policy and Ordinal Economics at the University of Freiburg and Member of the German Council of Economic Experts, and Giovanni Sabatini, General Manager of the Associazione Bancaria Italiana (ABI) and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the European Banking Federation (EBF).
“The cohesion of the eurozone is not something that can be forced but can only be achieved through persuasion. There are no easy, populist solutions to the main economic problem in Italy, namely weak structural growth. The new Italian government should therefore try to develop a broad economic policy strategy and a credible reform agenda that will boost Italy’s long-term growth prospects. We shouldn’t talk down what previous reforms in Italy have already accomplished. The country has, after all, managed in the last three years to turn its current account deficit into a surplus – clear evidence that Italy has improved its international competitiveness. The new Italian government should build on this success.”