>> In 2012, a general improvement in balances and in public finance trends could be observed, thanks to the measures to reduce public spending adopted by various European governments. Italy ranked the first, with Germany, among Emu countries, for primary balance, and the sixth with regard to net lending/borrowing.

>> Italy remained among the Eu countries with an extremely high debt/Gdp ratio. In 2012 this ratio rose to 127.0 percent, second only to Greece. The increase over 2011 was over 6 percentage point, more than double the average for other European countries.

>> Tax burden increased to 44.1 percent, 3.6 percentage points higher than the average of the Eu27 countries. The Italian figure was broadly in line with the average of other European countries until 2005, and then it gradually distanced with higher values.

>> In 2012, Government spending in Italy was just above 13,000 euro per capita, a value slightly higher than the EU27 average, but still lower than that of the major economies of the Union. Regionalised state spending per capita in the Centre and North area confirmed to be systematically higher than in the South and Islands.