Italy responds to EU Commission, says reforms focus on growth

ROME, March 5 Wed Mar 5, 2014 9:31am EST

ROME, March 5 (Reuters) - Italy's economic reform plans are in line with the latest recommendations from the European Commission, the economy ministry in Rome said on Wednesday after warnings from Brussels that it had to act to lift competitiveness and growth.

In a statement responding to the European Commission's latest in depth review of the euro zone economies, the ministry said Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government shared the Commission's view that an ambitious programme of reforms was needed.

It said Italy had focused on maintaining budget discipline over the past two years and had seen its efforts rewarded with a narrowing of the spread between Italian government bond yields and benchmark German Bunds to below 200 basis points.

"The moment has now come to place economic growth and jobs at the centre of government action," it said.