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Reform of EU fiscal, asylum rules among Italy's top priorities - Conte

Adnkronos International, Rome — Adnkronos International, Rome

Sept. 11--Italy's priorities during the incoming European Commission's five years in office will be propelling growth by easing the bloc's strict budgetary regulations, policies to develop the country's economically backward south and reform of current asylum rules, premier Giuseppe Conte stated on Wednesday.

"In Europe we have no time to lose, I believe it is a priority to accelerate progress towards three fundamental, strategic objectives for Italy and the national interest," Conte wrote on Facebook.

These goals are "the modification of the Growth and Stability Pact to boost growth, overcoming the Dublin Regulation on migration flows and a package of special measures for the economic development of our South," the post continued.

Italy's under-developed South should try to gain special status from the EU enabling it to launch such "extraordinary" measures, the post added.

During Paolo Gentiloni's five-year tenure as EU economic commissioner, starting in November, "investments need to be supported, beginning with environmental and social ones, with a view to sustainable development that will give new impetus to the Italian labour market," the post stated.

"On the issue of migration, I will continue to work strenuously for a structural and non-emergency management of migration flows at various levels, and to agree an automatic mechanism for landings and redistribution, with an effective European returns policy."

Italy has long argued that other EU countries must share more of the burden placed on it and other front line states by the influx of migrants arriving from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Italy's new left-leaning government, which was sworn in last Thursday, intends to play a leading role "in this phase of renewal of the EU," the post concluded.

The post came ahead of Conte's meetings in Brussels on Wednesday with European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen, European Council president Donald Tusk, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council president-elect Charles Michel and European Parliament president David Sassoli.

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