Italian central bank says public debt reaches new record of 2.2 trillion euros

MILAN – Italy’s public debt has risen to a new record of 2.2 trillion euros ($2.4 trillion), up by 23.4 billion euros in May.

The figure published by the central bank on Tuesday brought recriminations by opposition politicians against Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan for not bringing down the debt load, which had even at lower levels threatened a sovereign debt crisis. Italy’s economy is only now showing signs of sustained growth.

Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio is above 132 per cent, up from 130 per cent in 2013 and 120 per cent in 2010.

Padoan told the Italian daily il Sole 24 Ore in an interview published Tuesday that “18 months ago we risked much more,” but that structural reforms had helped create “the path to growth.”