Luigi Federico Signorini: Economic challenges facing Europe and the world

Panel discussion by Mr Luigi Federico Signorini, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Italy, at the Collegio Carlo Alberto, University of Torino, Moncalieri, 19 December 2016.

Germany and Italy have been called on to chair the G20 and G7 in economically and politically turbulent times, in the world at large as well as in our common European home. Several years down the road, the legacies of the global financial crisis and of the sovereign crisis in the euro area are still apparent. Sluggish growth, high private and public debt, unemployment and underemployment, as well as a general sense of disillusionment among broad swathes of the population are affecting many countries to varying extents. These facts and feelings are also engendering widespread 'anti-globalization' sentiment, as well as doubts about the European project.

This reaction has deep-rooted causes on which I shall spend a few words later but first of all, let me point out that this is one of the most compelling reasons why coordination between the German and Italian presidencies is so important. We must exploit synergies and join efforts to reach the broadest possible consensus among advanced and emerging economies, taking actions that can stem what I see as a potentially dangerous spiral of rising disaffection and protectionism.