BERLIN (Reuters) - Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan warned against complacency about Europe’s economic recovery on Tuesday, saying resistance to painful changes showed “they are hurting where they should”.
Stressing “monetary policy alone cannot do the job”, he said resistance to economic reforms was often encouraging.
“Yes, we find resistance,” Padoan told a conference in Berlin, with reference to Italy. “To me that is a sign that reforms are useful because they are hurting where they should.”
“What is required is responsible fiscal policies and reform agendas,” he added.
This year the government of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has eased firing restrictions for large firms and offered temporary tax breaks for companies that hire workers on permanent contracts.
The reforms have met fierce resistance from trade unions but are welcomed by big businesses, which had long complained about how difficult it was to fire workers.
Most labour experts say it will take years to gauge the real impact of the changes, but politicians have little patience and every piece of fluctuating monthly data has been held up by rival factions to prove the new rules are working or failing.
Reporting by Reinhard Becker; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Ruth Pitchford