Italian national debt rose in June, according to
figures from the Bank of Italy reported by the Ansa news agency
Monday, as other economic indicators also hinted at a growing sense
of gloom for the eurozone's third-largest economy.
The new figures showed Italian debt growing to a record 1.972 trillion euros (2.43 trillion dollars), from 1.966 trillion euros in May.
Those debt woes are likely to grow if the country cannot pay off its debt and maintain affordable financing rates. But that seemed in doubt again Monday after the country had to pay 2.767-per-cent interest on 12-month bonds in a new auction, up from 2.697 per cent paid at a similar auction in mid-July.
Nonetheless, Italy did auction off 8 billion euros worth of debt, reaching its stated goals for the operation.
The Italian government has tried to bring the debt under control by being more aggressive in tax collection. The Bank of Italy reported Monday that tax collection had risen 2.1 per cent for the first half of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.
The month of June alone saw an increase of 5.8 per cent, though some of that was related to a new real estate tax.
Newspaper La Repubblica reported Monday that more and more investors are pulling their money out of Italy. Without citing sources, it said more than a trillion euros have flown out of the country in the last two years.
That would amount to about half of Italy's gross domestic product. Similarly, deposits by foreign customers at Italian banks had sunk by about 18 per cent in the space of a year.
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