Though Italy’s unemployment rate is at an almost 12-year high and its economy continues to contract, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti struck a hopeful tone on Sunday, asserting that the austerity measures undertaken by the country had put Italy in a more competitive position within the EU.
“We are gaining a better position in terms of competitiveness because of the structural reforms” in Italy, he said on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS.
He also seemed to agree with President Obama’s assertion prior to this weekend’s G-8 summit that Europe must adopt pro-growth policies in addition to current austerity measures. Monti said that “there has to be a demand operation throughout Europe, a demand expansion” because the restructuring of the Italian economy is “actually destroying domestic demand through fiscal consolidation.”
Despite economic hardship sweeping the EU, Monti said that the Greek crisis has actually “improved” governance in the coalition.
“Europe becomes adult and stronger through crisis," he said.