ROME, April 3 (UPI) -- The Italian government won't use regional income tax hikes to help repay its debt to companies, the Economy Ministry said Wednesday.
Government officials met Tuesday to establish a time line to repay the nearly $51.4 billion and to establish tax measures to do so, ANSA reported.
Italian Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli said last week the government wouldn't borrow money to repay its debt to the private sector over the next two years.
"We hope that eventually the rights of the companies will be recognized," said Giorgio Squinzi, head of Confindustria, Italy's main industrial employers' association. "Businesses are suffering desperately from the lack of credit. There is a sense of despair affecting many entrepreneurs."