Italy, Netherlands economies based on exports - minister

Italy, Netherlands economies based on exports - minister

The economies of Italy and the Netherlands are export-driven, making it in both countries' interest to safeguard the single market and internal demand within Europe, foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday.

"Both Italy and the Netherlands have economies that are heavily based on exports," Di Maio said after talks at the foreign ministry in Rome with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok.

"So it is in their common interest to ensure the full and balanced working of the single market and to avoid depressing internal demand within the European Union," Di Maio stated.

Italy strongly supports the European Commission's "well-balanced" proposal last month for a 750 billion euro fund to help rebuild Europe's coronavirus-ravaged economies, Di Maio underlined.

"It (the recovery fund) aims to repair albeit partially the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to make the single market more resilient and to promote the EU's strategic objectives," Di Maio said.

Like Italy, the Dutch economy has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Blok said. The Netherlands backs "structural cooperation" and wants European countries to agree "a good and lasting" recovery package, he stated.

"We face the task of ensuring that unemployment doesn't rise and of doing something to ensure a future for its many young people," Blok said.