Austerity risks destroying Europe by "throwing the baby out with the bath water," Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi said Friday in a fresh attack on Brussels and Berlin.
"The United States have invested in growth. They have seen eight years of it and the economy has exited crisis and got going again," Renzi said during a visit motorbike maker Ducati's factory in the northern city of Bologna.
"But here in Europe, there is a misguided mechanism that throws the baby out with the bath water by also cutting what we should be investing in," Renzi continued.
Italy is still struggling to emerge from decades of chronically low growth and Renzi has criticised the European Union's strict rules on fiscal policy, including that member states must have a budget deficit of three percent or less, or face sanctions.
On Tuesday, Renzi blasted German chancellor Angela Merkel's policies, telling the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations think-tank: "Stressing austerity means destroying Europe."
”Which is the only country which receives an advantage from this strategy? The one which exports the most: Germany,” Renzi stated.