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Press release N° 1 of 01/04/2010

State sector borrowing requirement recorded in December 2009 a surplus provisionally set at € 2,500 million, lower by only approximately € 260 million with respect to that of December 2008, which had amounted to € 2,761 million.

The annual state sector borrowing requirement in 2009 has been set on a provisional basis at approximately € 85,900 million, up by approximately € 31,600 million from the requirement in 2008, which was € 54,287 million.

From the revenue side, income from taxes remained substantially stable with respect to the previous year, recording a progression in the revenue from indirect taxes that was slightly better than expected.

Income from the extraordinary tax on financial activities and assets held in international markets amounted to approximately € 4,700 million in December, a sum that more than compensated the lower revenue from the reduction of tax rates in connection with the second instalment of the IRPEF payment.

Compared to December 2008, income did not benefit from revenue from "dormant accounts" that had been established in article 1, comma 345, of law n. 266/2005.

As for expenditure, surplus in December 2009, compared to the previous year, took into account the aid for the banking system for an amount of € 2,600 million, raised through the subscription of special bank bonds issued under article 12 of the Legislative Decree n. 185/2008, which was successively converted into Law n. 2/2009. It should also be observed, that the monthly balance benefited from lesser payments - in connection with decreasing cash transfers from the Treasury to decentralised cost centres; lower payments due to State Railways; lower tax refunds relating to long overdue tax credits - and from the fact that payments made in December 2008 did not occur in December 2009 involving the:

Early transfers, as an effect of the 2008 Financial Act, in favour of Regional Governments for the wiping out of previously incurred health-sector debts;

Payment relating to the application of the new collective contract for public sector workers;

Payment to Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A. (under art. 5 of D. L. n. 154/2008, converted in Law n. 189/2008) for the closing of the advance granted to the Commune of Rome.

Although still on an interim basis, the state borrowing requirement for 2009 appears to be slightly lower with respect to the last official estimate of € 88,000 million set in the 2010 Forecast. The result is in line with the public finance framework that is currently being defined in connection with the updating of the Stability and Growth Plan that is due to be presented to the European Union by the end of January 2010.

Rome 01/04/2010

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