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Italy at a Crossroads - by Emanuele Schibotto

It is now a year and a half since Matteo Renzi took over as Italy’s Prime Minister on February 22, 2014.

Since then, Mr. Renzi, who is the second-youngest national leader in Europe, has sought to deal with the difficult task of implementing the much-needed economic reforms demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Renzi is keen to restore market confidence and revamp the Italian economy (real GDP will post a poor 0.7% of growth in 2015 and 1.2 in 2016, according to the IMF).

Actions have been taken to boost job creation and growth, improving domestic competition and easing the burden of bureaucracy — which impedes an otherwise dynamic private sector.

“If fully and effectively implemented, these reforms could contribute to improving competitiveness and addressing some long-standing obstacles to growth,” wrote the European Commission in a recent report.

Despite this progress, Italy remains under close scrutiny from international markets – and for good reasons. Unemployment is over 12%, GDP growth is sluggish and perhaps most critically, the economy is still 9% below the peak it reached before the global financial crisis unfolded in 2008.

Read more: Italy at a Crossroads - The Globalist

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