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Brussels, 27 April 2012

Joint statement following the working breakfast between European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti

"Our discussion this morning focused on the current economic situation in Europe and in the euro area in particular. We face significant challenges in terms of growth and high unemployment.

We agreed that the revival of growth must come through a relentless focus on improving competitiveness and not through higher levels of debt. Fiscal consolidation should therefore proceed alongside targeted investments, to enhance competitiveness while also contributing to increasing demand in the short term.

We also concurred on the need to further develop the single market, our strongest asset for the promotion of growth and jobs at the European level, and to strengthen enforcement of its rules. In particular, there should be faster and more effective progress in the digital, energy and services sectors.

We agreed to remain in close contact on these matters in the run-up to the June European Council and to meet again on 15 May."

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