Italy's President Worried About Jobs, Won't Seek Bailout
Italy's president, Giorgio Napolitano, told CNBC the euro zone's third-largest economy is in no danger of going the way of Portugal and Ireland and won't seek a financial bailout.
"We don’t see any danger in this sense," he said. "We already took austerity measures and we will go on in order to arrive in a few years at a zero percent deficit and GDP ratio." That figure is currently at about 120 percent.
He said the Italian economy "is recovering, not without difficulties, and I could say there are ups and downs in this recovery. We know that we have some weaknesses as regards our public debt."
He is more concerned about unemployment, particularly of younger people, which he called a "social, political and human problem."
He downplayed Italy's reliance on Libyan oil during the current fighting. Napolitano said that while Italy has "important relations with Libya in the field of energy" — it gets about 10 percent of its energy from its former colony — Libya is "not absolutely decisive for our economy.
We have relations with other countries” for energy including Algeria and Russia, "so there is no one-sided energy policy."
Libyan leader Col. Muammar Ghadafi "no longer has any legitimacy," and Napolitano said Italy is "strongly in favor" of the current NATO-led action to protect the nation's population during the fighting between Ghadafi forces and rebels, particularly in the eastern part of the country.
"The decisions taken by the United Nations and several states giving allegiance to the coalition have been effective in saving Benghazi," Libya's second-largest city, from attack, he said. He hopes the situation "will find a solution" and "not keep going on in a stagnating way."