Italian economy minister says ECB rates hikes worrying for Rome

Italian economy minister says ECB rates hikes worrying for Rome

ROME, Dec 17 (Reuters) – The prospect of subsequent hikes in interest rates by the European Central Bank is worrying for highly indebted countries like Italy, the economy minister said on Saturday, following an ECB decision to raise its benchmark rate by 50 basis points.

“We have benefitted as a country for several years of a favourable situation, with interest rates close to or below zero, and this is now changing,” Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said at an event in Rome.

He said the rate hikes “should in some way advise us to be even more careful with regard to public finances and assess the consequences for the real economy”.

Reporting by Angelo Amante and Giuseppe Fonte, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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