Italy's EMU prospects still raise doubts
In the past week Gerhardt Schroder, the probable SPD candidate for Chancellor, said Italian membership is unlikely to be an issue in the German elections. Meanwhile Antonio Fazio the governor of the Italian central bank, said the Italian budget deficit was probably under 3 per cent last year, and the rejection by Eurostat of the Italian government's plan to reduce the deficit by including pounds 1bn worth of profits on gold sales had little real impact.
Next week the Italian Finance Minister visits Germany for talks with the Bundesbank and with Economics Minister Theo Weigel. Unemployment figures in Germany next Thursday will be also be closely watched.
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