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Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said deflation would be a disaster for the euro zone and for countries with high public debt in particular. Inflation stood at just 0.7 percent in April, far below the ECBs ceiling of 2 percent, and is expected to remain at the same level in May. In Italy, preliminary figures for May issued on Friday showed consumer prices up just 0.4 percent annually. Padoan said the only way for the country to get the debt-to-GDP ratio falling was by increasing economic growth.

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