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Brussels, 9 April 2013
Statement by Vice President Rehn on Italy
The European Commission reaffirms its support to the Italian government's plan to accelerate the liquidation of the large stock of trade debt accumulated by the public administration. This will ease firms' liquidity constraints and thus assist economic recovery.
Given Italy's considerably improved budgetary situation, there is scope for a phased liquidation without endangering the sustainable correction of the excessive budget deficit.
Subject to further technical clarification, the Commission welcomes the Italian government's commitment to closely monitor actual implementation and to maintain the deficit in 2013 under the 3% threshold, in particular through the safeguard mechanism built in the decree-law enacting the plan.
The obligation for all administrations in Italy owing trade debt arrears, including at regional and local level, to fully disclose their amount is very important to ensure transparency and to allow reliable estimates of the overdue payments. The Commission trusts that in the future Italy will prevent the accumulation of new trade debts at all levels of government, as required by the EU late payment directive.