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Obama praises Italian PM's economic efforts

Updated: 2012-02-10 11:01
( Xinhua)

Obama praises Italian PM's economic efforts

US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti after their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington Feb 9, 2012. Obama assured Monti on Thursday that the United States will do whatever it can to help stabilize the situation in the euro zone.[Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Thursday praised visiting Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti for his efforts to fight the debt crisis and boost market confidence.

Obama said he appreciated Monti's "strong start" as Italy's newly-named prime minister and the "very effective measures" he was promoting in his country.

With stewardship, experience and his knowledge of economics, Monti has boosted confidence within Italy for a reform agenda, and has also generated confidence across Europe and the world markets, Obama said.

Obama assured Monti, who assumed his post last November to address Italy's debt crisis and restore fiscal stability, that the United States would do whatever it could to help stabilize the situation in the eurozone.

"It has not been a crisis of the euro," Monti said in a speech at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics before his meeting with Obama, adding that the euro has shown remarkable stability and solidity.

Monti said Italy doesn't need financial support at present. "But it needs better governance and wants to contribute to better governance," the prime minister said.

Monti said budgetary consolidation, labor reform, liberalization and competition are the three pillars for economic growth in Italy. "If markets see the improvements in the policy outlook for Italy and sustainability of the budget, they will deliver a benefit to Italy in the form of lower interest rates," Monti said.

He said he was confident European integration will be strengthened through the crisis.