United front as Merkel meets Monti in Rome

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United front as Merkel meets Monti in Rome

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Italy and Germany are ready to face the economic downturn together – that is the message coming from both countries’ leaders as German Chancellor Angela Merkel travelled to Rome on Wednesday.

At their last meeting at the EU summit in Brussels, Italian prime minister Mario Monti successfully managed to get Merkel to agree to emergency measures she had previously been resisting.

Speaking at a joint press conference, he stressed Italy’s success in dealing with its debt problem.

“Italy does not need support to finance its deficit. We haven’t asked to use the existing mechanisms for dealing with debt, because fortunately – with the commitment of all the Italian people and Parliament – we’re not in the same condition as Greece, Ireland and Portugal,” said Monti.

Monti is promising to reduce the deficit from eight percent of GDP to two percent by the end of the year. Merkel praised his efforts to reduce public spending and increase efficiency.