Italy stats office can't function after spending cuts-stats

MILAN - The head of Italian national statistics body ISTAT on Thursday threatened to cease issuing data on the economy, saying it had been crippled by government spending cuts aimed at reducing national debt and righting public finances.
"Spending cuts are putting ISTAT at risk," ISTAT President Enrico Giovannini told daily La Repubblica in an interview published on Thursday."From January onwards we will not issue any statistics."
Planned government cuts would reduce financing to ISTAT to 150-160 million euros by 2013 from 176 million euros currently, Giovannini said. He said that was half what is set aside for national statistics in France and one third of what available in Nordic countries.
Giannini said Italy risked fines from the European Union if it was not able to produce its agreed set of statistics, which contribute to EU-wide data.
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