Bloomberg News

Bank of Italy’s Saccomanni Urges Steps to Boost Competitiveness

October 25, 2011

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of Italy Director General Fabrizio Saccomanni said the country’s youth are key to boosting its growth potential and urged steps to improve competitiveness and access to risk capital.

“Globalization and the aging of the population require large productivity gains to maintain our level of well-being,” Saccomanni said in a speech today in Florence, Italy, according to the e-mailed text. Italy needs to align its welfare system “with a more flexible labor market, rules that are favorable to competition and greater access to risk capital.”

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is seeking an agreement with his allies on measures to spur growth after the European Union urged Italy to commit to “specific actions” to fight the debt crisis today. Italian growth has trailed the euro-area average for the past decade, making it harder to reduce debt amounting to about 120 percent of output, the second biggest in the region after Greece.

Berlusconi had cited Saccomanni as a candidate to succeed Mario Draghi as central bank governor. He ended up nominating Bank of Italy Deputy Director General Ignazio Visco. Draghi takes over from Jean-Claude Trichet as European Central Bank president on Nov. 1.

--Editors: Jeffrey Donovan, Dan Liefgreen

To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Vasarri in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at

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