Italian economy minister sees broad accord on EU growth calls

LUXEMBOURG, June 20 Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:24am EDT

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LUXEMBOURG, June 20 (Reuters) - Italy's eurozone partners are in broad agreement with its push for more emphasis on policies to promote growth and employment in Europe, Economy Minister Piercarlo Padoan said on Friday less than a week before an EU summit.

"I don't want to give too much away in advance but there is support for the line taken by the Italian presidency," he told a news conference in Luxembourg where eurozone finance ministers have been meeting.

Italy, which assumes the rotating presidency of the EU next month, has called for the margins for flexibility in European budget rules to be used to encourage economic growth and jobs in a switch away from the austerity imposed in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis.

"The Italian government has gained in authority and this is recognised by our partners, it's among the first things that our partners say when we meet," he said.

He also said Europe faced the risk of excessively low inflation for too long, with inflation still far from the European Central Bank's two percent target level. However he said he was confident the ECB had the situation under control.

(writing by James Mackenzie, editing by Isla Binnie)

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