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Italy needs Europe to recognize importance of growth: Monti

(Xinhua)

09:25, February 21, 2012

MILAN, Italy, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Italy needs Europe to recognize the fundamental importance of growth, Prime Minister Mario Monti said here on Monday.

"Italy needs to grow, but it cannot grow on its own ... Italy needs Europe to recognize its need to grow," Monti told a press conference at the Milan Stock Exchange after meeting some 20 representatives of the Italian financial community.

A letter from several government heads of EU member states was recently sent to the European Council and the European Commission suggesting a strong stimulus to economic growth in Europe, he said.

The prime minister reassured Italians there would be no need for another set of austerity measures. Having agreed to a tough package of spending cuts and tax increases adopted last December, Italy is expected to balance its budget by 2013.

On the Milan Stock Exchange, Monti said it was one of Italy's treasures. However, the number of listed companies in the Milan Stock Exchange was still lower than in other European countries, he noted, adding that a stock exchange with a higher number of listed companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, would give a vital contribution for growth.

Italy's national statistics agency Istat said on Monday that the country's industrial turnover and orders in 2011 rose by 5.6 percent and 5.9 percent respectively.

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