The president of the European Commission (EC), Jean-Claude Juncker was on Tuesday worried about the progress of the Italian economy and called for "greater efforts" to boost growth, after meeting in Rome with the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte.
"I am slightly concerned that the Italian economy continues to shrink and I hope the Italian authorities will make greater efforts to keep economic growth alive," Juncker said in a statement to the press after his meeting with Conte.
In his statement, the prime minister, supported by a government pact between the extreme right-wing Liga and the 5-Star Movement (M5S), assured that the economy's slowdown was foreseen because a "budget with social measures that were needed for years was restore social equity ", but this week a decree will be approved" with measures to promote development "and" re-launch public and private investments ".
Italy entered into a technical recession at the end of 2018, after accumulating losses of 0.1% in GDP in the third and fourth quarters, but the Italian Executive trusts that economic growth will reach 1% in 2019.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated that Italy's growth will shrink by 0.2% in 2019 and its deficit will be 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), according to the report "Economic study of Italy 2019 "published yesterday.
Juncker explained that at the meeting today also talked about immigration and the need for there to be from the EU "a more articulated solidarity" to the weight that leads Italy, but added that the country received 1,000 million to address this issue by what "can not be said that Europe has left Italy alone".
The EC president said he can not be "critical" of Italy's decision to sign the Chinese development plan, known as the New Silk Road, because Conte "has always referred to Europe when referring to this agreement. ", but stressed that" not only China can benefit from this project. "
Another topic of the meeting was about the construction of the high-speed railway line (TAV) between Turin and Lyon for which the EU has provided funds to both countries and that for the moment Italy has paralyzed, before the division of the two partners of the Government on the advantages of its realization.
Juncker said that they have requested a meeting between the Italian and French transport ministers and then with the European transport commissioner, Violeta Bulc, and that it is "a technical problem and not an ideological one".
In what has been the farewell of the president of the European Commission (EC) to Italy, as he announced that he will not seek a new mandate, Juncker said that "there is great love between the EC and Italy and all its ministers."