January 27, 2012 / 7:28 PM / 9 years ago

Italy government seeks to cut red tape, boost growth

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s government announced measures to reduce bureaucracy on Friday to help boost productivity and growth in the euro zone’s third largest economy.

With Italy on the frontline of Europe’s debt crisis, Prime Minister Mario Monti is keen to convince markets the sluggish economy can be reformed effectively although some commentators remain sceptical.

The package aims to make it easier to set up businesses and simplify Italy’s inefficient public administration, partly by allowing citizens to take steps such as residency changes or electoral registration over the Internet.

“No more long waiting times to obtain a document, difficult administrative forms and inaccessible public offices,” the government promised in a statement.

The new measures cut the number of controls, administrative procedures and documentation necessary to set up a company or hire staff from outside the European Union. They also aim to develop broadband internet access across the country.

The package was the latest effort by Monti to trim a 1.8-trillion-euro ($2.3 trillion) debt and restore competitiveness.

It follows an austerity plan passed in December and a reforms approved by the cabinet last week to deregulate some service sectors and professions.

Reporting By Catherine Hornby; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo

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