Italy PM at Davos calls for tackling risks ‘head-on’

He stressed the need for new reform in Europe, including its economic direction

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Italy’s prime minister on Wednesday urged politicians around the world to “seize the day” and tackle complex risks directly, according to a press statement.

“Not to see the risks is stupid for a politician, but the transformation of risks into opportunities is the quality of leadership,” Matteao Renzi said at the 45th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters.

“The economy is important, but without political leadership, we are not in a condition to invest in a different world,” he said.

While acknowledging new risks, Renzi said that if leaders around the world invested in the future “not as a problem, but as an opportunity, it will resonate with a very important message – carpe diem [seize the day].”

He stressed the need for new reform in Europe, including its economic direction.

“At the G20 summit in Brisbane last November, every country spoke about the need to invest in growth,” he said. “Europe and the Eurozone spoke only about austerity. It is important to pay attention to budgets, but it is also important to invest in a new relationship with citizens.”

Renzi stressed that the next 12 months were critical.

“Europe must eliminate the red tape of bureaucracy or it will be finished,” he warned.

The prime minster also pointed to “the new role” for the European Central Bank, which is expected to unveil a plan this week to boost the Eurozone’s flagging economy.

The Italian leader also said a strong idea of Europe around the world was needed given turbulence in parts of the world such as Iraq, Libya, Russia, Syria and Ukraine.

“My country is famous around the world as a country of division. We want a new vision, not division; a renaissance. I am not here to present a future of tomorrow for my country. The future is today, not tomorrow.

Italy [for my children] will be an innovation lab, not a museum,” he concluded.

There are more than 2,500 participants at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, which runs from Jan. 21 to Jan. 24.

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