November 20, 2018 / 9:44 AM / 20 days ago

Italy can achieve growth without endangering fiscal consolidation - Centeno

Eurogroup President Mario Centeno gives a statement prior to a Euro zone finance ministers meeting to discuss reforms of the monetary union in Brussels, Belgium November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italy can accelerate its sluggish economic growth without giving up the consolidation of its public finances, which could be a threat to all of the euro zone, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Mario Centeno said on Tuesday.

“I understand and share Italy’s concerns about sluggish growth and complex social issues, but this can be achieved without placing a trajectory of fiscal consolidation at risk,” Centeno told the European Parliament’s economic committee.

“Adhering to them (fiscal rules) is not only in each country’s individual interest, but also in our collective interest,” he said. “The crisis has taught us that in an economic and monetary union, the responsibility to conduct sound and responsible policy does not stop at national borders.”

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel

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