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Italy’s economy minister hopes ECB will support Rome’s anti-coronavirus measures

FILE PHOTO: Italy’s Minister of Finance Roberto Gualtieri attends a one day Italo-Franco summit in Naples, Italy February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) – Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri on Wednesday said he expected the European Central Bank to support Italy as the government prepared a raft of measures to counter the impact of the coronavirus on businesses and citizens.

Italy has announced it will ramp up spending to help the economy cope with the biggest outbreak of the virus in Europe, setting aside 25 billion euros ($28.3 billion) to tackle the crisis..

“It is reasonable to say that GDP will fall for a couple of months,” Gualtieri told a parliamentary hearing.

He added, however, that it was still “premature and inappropriate” to make forecasts on GDP growth this year, adding the government would review its estimates in April.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; writing by Angelo Amante, editing by Giulia Segreti

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