Italy not in a ‘brilliant position’

Italy not in a ‘brilliant position’

ROME - Agence France-Presse
Italy not in a ‘brilliant position’

Italy’s PM Mario Monti says he cannot make promises due to economic woes. DHA Photo

Italy, despite ongoing economic reforms, is not in a “brilliant position,” Prime Minister Mario Monti said March 24, and warned that “expectations should be modest.”

Monti was speaking at a meeting with labor leaders on the eve of a tour that will take him to South Korea, Japan and China on a trip aimed at boosting ties with East Asia’s economic powerhouses.
Italy’s cabinet March 23 approved a labor reform package, which must now go through parliament, after weeks of bitter talks with trade unions -- measures which Monti argues are needed to boost growth.

Modest expectations

“We must keep expectations at modest levels. The country is not in a brilliant position where we can make promises,” Monti said at a meeting with the Confcommercio union on March 24.

“We cannot think today that we have solved the most urgent problems. Unfortunately it is not possible to solve in one year, or in five months” problems created over decades, he said.

Monti took over from Silvio Berlusconi in November after a severe financial crisis hit Italy and has since driven unpopular budget cuts, market liberalization measures and pension reforms.