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Ministry of Economy and FinanceMEF: the fundamentals of Italy's economy and public finances are solid

Press release N° 89 of 04/28/2020

The Italian Minister of Economy and Finance, Roberto Gualtieri, acknowledges the decision made today by the agency Fitch to downgrade Italy's credit rating to BBB-, with a stable outlook.
The agency intervened bringing forward the rating assessment scheduled for 10 July. The decision to bring forward this assessment is allegedly justified by the current worsening of the macroeconomic situation and public finances. However, these effects are entirely due to an external and temporary cause. Assessing the relative impacts on growth prospects and on creditworthiness inevitably involves a considerable degree of uncertainty.
In fact, the other rating agencies have taken a more prudent approach.
The assessment does not take into account the significant decisions made by the European Union, by its member states and by the institutions forming part of it. In particular, it would appear that not enough value has been attributed to the strategic direction being taken by the European Central Bank and nor to the measures that are about to be implemented, with shared responsibility being taken for managing the crisis and the relative funding.
The fundamentals of Italy's economy and public finances are solid. The country's production system is highly diversified, with a consolidated trade surplus and a net external financial position that is very close to being balanced. The average cost of Italian debt continues to decrease, even in the current year, and the increasing portion of debt held by the Central Bank will also ensure that net expenditure for interest next year remains in line with this year.
The public guarantees being issued in recent days ensure the liquidity of the Italian economy, thereby also improving the future prospects of public finances. The level of state guarantees in Italy remains low, when compared with Europe’s other major countries.
The government is fully aware of the need to face this crisis with more than just emergency measures. We shall also intervene with an agenda of reforms and investments to boost our growth potential, paying close attention to the constraints and sustainability of public finances and the need to confirm the debt reduction trend.

Rome 04/28/2020
IT

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