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Italy to pay pensioners over 2.0 billion euros in budget blow

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Palazzo Chigi on May 18, 2015 in RomeItaly’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Monday the government would bite the bullet and pay out over 2.0 billion euros to pensioners following a court order, despite the blow to the debt-laden country’s budget. At the start of May, Italy’s constitutional court overturned a key plank of the country’s pension reforms, leaving the government facing a mammoth adjustment estimated by the premier to total 18 billion euros. “Making all the back-payments would have involved for 2015 resources which would have taken the debt to GDP ratio to 3.6 percent,” Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said in a press conference. Italy, which only this month emerged from the deepest recession since World War II, had pledged to lower its budget deficit from 3.0 percent to 2.6 percent of GDP in 2015 — a promise it will now be harder for Renzi to keep.

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