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Brussels, 29 January 2013
Statement by the Spokesperson for Economic and Monetary Affairs
Neither Vice-President Rehn nor the European Commission comment on issues in the context of a national election campaign, in Italy, or any other Member State. Vice-President Rehn is responsible for fiscal and economic surveillance within the European Commission and his recounting in the European Parliament this morning of the events of the autumn of 2011 should be seen in this context.
As Vice-President Rehn recalled, in the autumn of 2011, Italy faced a difficult situation. Market turbulence increased over the course of September and October, reflecting a conviction among investors that there was not a sufficiently strong drive to move ahead with the reform agenda. Subsequent to this, on 26 October Italy outlined a series of reform commitments in a letter addressed to the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council. On the same day, the euro area summit requested that the Commission carry out a detailed assessment of these reform commitments. On 4 November the Commission requested in a letter to the Italian Government that it provide further details on the planned measures. On 16 November a new government took office in Italy. The Commission's assessment of Italy's fiscal and economic policy commitments was presented to the Eurogroup on 29 November 2011 and took into account also the further measures that had in the meantime been announced by the new government.