World Economy

Greece, Italy on an Upswing

Greece, Italy on an UpswingGreece, Italy on an Upswing

Speaking on the sidelines of the European House-Ambrosetti Forum on Sunday, Italy’s Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said his country was at the start of a positive economic cycle just as Greece’s investment prospects were starting to bloom.

Italy’s jobless rate was down 0.5 percentage points in July from a month earlier, to a two-year low of 12% according to the country’s national statistics agency, Istat, CNBC reported.

Padoan said the latest data were a welcome relief. “We all know that structural reform takes time to deliver fruits and increasingly so over time. So I would like to say that we are at the beginning of a positive cycle. More jobs also boosts confidence with households so they will spend more money,” Padoan said.

He added that while Greece has some challenges ahead, the time was right to start investing in the country.

“Over the next five to 10 years, you will find that its reforms are implemented, potential growth will go up, inefficiencies will go down, jobs will go up, confidence will be rebuilt. So it’s like an emerging economy in its upswing phase.

“I think we will find a very viable solution over the next few months. In the meantime I think what Greece needs is a stable government and of course it’s up to the Greek people to decide who has the majority,” Padoan added.

With growth targets already achieved for 2015, positive data achieved throughout the rest of the year will only extend the country’s gains, he explained.

The government is now focusing on how to address a wealth creation gap between Italy’s north and south which recently reached a 15-year high.