Italy’s public debt hits new record

The amount of public debt racked up by the eurozone’s third largest economy reached a new record of €2.2 trillion in May, up by €23.4 billion in a month, the Bank of Italy said on Tuesday

Italy's public debt hits new record
Italy's Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan has come under fire after the country's public debt hit a new record in May. Photo: Eric Piemont/AFP

The hike was attributed to increased Treasury liquidity, the fall in the euro and bond market conditions, the bank said. Italy’s public debt rose 3.9 percent in the first five months of the year.

The country’s debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 133.1 percent – the second largest in the eurozone after Greece – and is up from 130 percent in 2013 and 120 percent in 2010.

The new figure sparked criticism from opposition politicians, who hit out at Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan for failing to reduce the debt load.

Renato Brunetta, the leader of the Forza Italia party leader in the chamber of deputies, said:

“A new record for Italian public debt. Wasn’t Pier Carlo Padoan supposed to stabilized and reduce it?”

Padoan said in an interview with Il Sole 24 Ore published on Tuesday that “18 months ago we risked much more,” adding that structural reforms have helped paved the way towards growth.

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