EUROPE - EU finance chiefs have been urged to make more effort to reform their pension systems and labour markets.
The Ecofin council said that EU governments had to reform their pensions systems and address all consequences of an ageing population, as reforms were linked to sustainability.
At its meeting, the council adopted the policy of ensuring the sustainability of finances. One of the conclusions reached was: “The long term sustainability of our public finances is secured only in half of our member states. The council encourages members of state to tackle the financial implication of population ageing by reducing public debt and strengthening employment, health and pension reform.”
The council also noted that a number of member states had successfully introduced significant employment and pension reforms and several were also seeking a better returns for public in terms of health care delivery.
“A more widespread implementation will strengthen the sustainability of public finances,” the council said.
EU economic affairs commissioner Pedro Solbes also commended Italy on the progress made on pension reform and said that it was a step in the right direction.
However, the commissioner added that in order to address its problems of sustainability of public finances, Italy needs to reduce its public debt and increase employment rates.
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