Italy, Japan urge G7 to spend for growth

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi (right) welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a bilateral meeting in Florence, Italy on May 2, 2016.
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi (right) welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a bilateral meeting in Florence, Italy on May 2, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

FLORENCE, Italy (AFP) - Italy and Japan want the upcoming summit of Group of Seven (G7) leaders to send a "strong signal" of support for using flexible budget policies to stimulate a slowing global economy, the leaders of the two countries said on Monday (May 2).

At the start of a European tour focused on preparations for the summit, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he and his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi shared a view that an acceleration of structural reforms in leading economies had to be accompanied by greater flexibility on budgetary policies.

"We agreed the G7 should send a strong signal in this sense," Mr Abe said after talks with Mr Renzi in the Italian leader's home city, Florence.

Mr Renzi said: "Japan is hosting the G7 at a time of great importance and I am counting a lot on Shinzo Abe's leadership, particularly on the subject of growth.

"We have an extraordinary need to seize the opportunity presented at the G7 and we will be in the frontline supporting (Japan's efforts) to make the summit a success."

Mr Abe is known for his "Abenomics" attempts to stimulate economic growth through increased public spending while Mr Renzi has been the leading advocate of loosening Europe's budgetary rules to promote recovery in Italy and other stagnating Eurozone economies.