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Italy says public debt to fall in 2014

January 24, 2014

MILAN (AP) — Italian Premier Enrico Letta says privatizations planned this year will bring down Italy’s stubbornly high public debt for the first time in six years.

The economics minister said Friday in Rome that the privatization of up to 40 percent of the postal service and 49 percent of the air traffic controllers’ authority could net nearly 7 billion euros ($9.5 billion). Italy’s public debt ratio is the second-highest in the euro zone at over 130 percent of GDP.

The government also approved measures to allow Italians to repatriate capital. The plan would require payment of taxes due, but reduce any administrative penalties. Letta said the recovered capital would allow the government to reduce payroll taxes.

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