Italy Caught Between Reform and Protests

“This is the third year in a row that Italy has negative growth and clearly we have a long-term problem here in Italy,” Anatoli Annenkov, Senior European Economist at Societe Generale, told CNBC.

“The labor market laws are one step in the right direction but we think much more is needed, unfortunately. We need much higher nominal growth in Italy to make sure the debt in Italy is sustainable or alternatively, tighter fiscal policy,” he told CNBC.

As protests took place back home on Friday, Renzi told a meeting of entrepreneurs in Istanbul that if Italy postponed much needed reforms, “we condemn ourselves to a slow decline,” the Italian ANSA news agency reported.

Italy’s economy is still mired in recession although Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in November that he believed the country would see “positive growth” in 2015. In the meantime, the euro zone’s third largest economy has seen its debt pile grow to become the second highest in the 18-country region, behind Greece, with a debt to GDP ratio of almost 134 percent.

Like other countries in the euro zone, such as Portugal, Ireland, France and Greece, Italy had been called on to implement far-reaching structural reforms in order to enable its economy to recover. Countries like Ireland and Portugal that had enacted reforms, had improved, Annenkov said.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza