Bloomberg News

Draghi Says Berlusconi’s Letter to EU Is ‘Important Step’

October 26, 2011

(Updates with details of letter in third paragraph, banks in fourth.)

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Mario Draghi, who will become European Central Bank president Nov. 1, said a letter from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to European Union leaders outlining plans for measures to boost growth is “very important.”

“It’s a plan of structural reforms for the Italian economy,” Draghi, the Bank of Italy governor, said in a speech in Rome today. “Those reforms have to be done. They need to be done swiftly and in a concrete way. And we can’t ignore that they are courageous reforms and thus the weakest part of the population, which will certainly be affected by such reforms, will have to be protected.”

Italy plans to raise 5 billion euros ($7 billion) annually for the next three years by selling assets, Adnkronos reported, citing the letter. The government also plans to raise the retirement age for men and women to 67 starting in 2026 and to ease firing and hiring rules, the Italian newswire reported.

Draghi said Italian banks had responded earlier in the year to pressure to raise their core capital, and said he was “confident” they would do so again if asked.

--Editors: Heather Langan, John Simpson

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Davis at

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