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Learning about Pier Carlo Padoan's commitment to reforms

The only way to approach Italian challenges rapidly and effectively is through finding the energy to change the country deeply and radically

Learning about Pier Carlo Padoan's commitment to reforms

Claudia Astarita

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While the Italian national statistical agency (Istat) stress that Italy's gross domestic product (Gdp) fell by 1.9% in 2013; debt soared to new records and consumers cinched their belts tighter, the newly nominated Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan is highlighting that "time has come to radically reform the country".

According to the agency the country's economy is particularly weak at the moment. Indeed, it has been stated that household spending on food as well as public debt levels have reached low points not seen in at least 22 years.

"The fall in gross domestic product by close to 2% is an extremely alarming signal about the condition of our economic system," Italy's consumer associations Federconsumatori and Adusbef said in a joint statement. Accordingly, it is more and more urgent for the new Premier Matteo Renzi to find a way to stop this dangerous slowdown and and find new strategies to boost growth, consumption, and employment. Indeed, rising joblessness has been one of the most painful aspects of Italy's recession, as it dangerously took the country to lows not seen since the Second World War.

Confirming this negative trend, last week the European Commission also had to readjust its forecast concerning growth in the Italian economy, stating it will be weaker this year than previously estimated, and that the country's debt as a percentage of gross domestic product will rise in 2014. At the same time, the EC stressed its confidence on a "brighter 2015", with stronger consumer confidence and rising external demand.

According to the new Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, the only way to approach all these challenges rapidly and effectively is through finding the energy to change the country "deeply and radically." "We have to remove the tight spots choking our society, open our society to the contribution of the youngest and all those who have worked to serve the common good," he said.

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