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After austerity, Italy's Monti looks to growth

After austerity, Italy's Monti looks to growth
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Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has said that Europe cannot rely on austerity to fix its economic problems.

The former European Commissioner told parliament that more efforts must be made to boost growth.

On Wednesday he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who praised Italy’s plans to reduce its 1.9 trillion euro debt pile.

Monti said EU leaders must soon agree new rules on fiscal discipline.

He added. “It’s very important, without forgetting fiscal discipline, to go beyond that and invest more energy into growth.”

Italy appears to have eased market concerns about a blow-up of its public finances – at least for the time being.

It sold 12 billion euros of bonds in its first debt sale of the year on Thursday morning.

The interest rates on one-year bonds plunged to 2.7 per cent, from 5.9 per cent in a similar auction last month in what is being interpreted as a sign of improved investor confidence.