"Italy can beat the crisis". Carlo Messina looks ahead to 2023

The image accompanying the News on the point of view of CEO Messina on the country's prospects for the next year, which represents the most difficult phase to overcome in order to ensure that in 2024 we return to growth, portrays Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo

In two recent interviews with RAI TG1 and Milano Finanza, Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina shared his views on the country's prospects for the coming year, which represents the most difficult phase to weather before resuming growth in 2024.

Looking ahead to 2023, Carlo Messina remarked that "we all need to pay attention to the real economy so that the country does not go into recession. It is essential that everyone takes action to improve the conditions of their companies, and then that the government takes the right actions to accelerate growth and not to bring about elements that reduce it." Italy has such strong fundamentals that, according to Messina, "it is unimaginable that it could find itself in a difficult situation in the near future."

"Now is the time for businesses to be socially responsible," when those with more resources "must use them for the benefit of the community, society and households, and that is what we intend to do."

A pillar of the country's real economy with more than €500 billion in loans – equal to one-third of Italy's GDP – Intesa Sanpaolo will continue to provide significant credit in all market conditions, reaching a total of around €70 billion by the end of the year, and does not rule out further initiatives if the situation worsens.

Turning to the broader situation, CEO Messina commented on the current Italian and international contexts, including:

  • Priorities for the Italian government
    "The priorities to work on first, as in all countries the world over, are poverty, social inclusion and social inequality. The other top priority is to work on the South: we need to provide it with all those things that, incredibly, have not yet been provided: ports, solar energy." 

  • Businesses’ social responsibility
    "I believe that now is the time for all those who run or own companies to show that they care about this country. There is an issue of social cohesion, of poverty, of inequality. We are talking about really significant numbers, the country's social stability, which is an absolute priority." 

  • ECB rates
    "The rise in interest rates has to be correctly balanced so as not to overdo it and send countries into recession. However, in Italy we have an advantage: we are much less dependent on China and other complex situations. For our exporting companies, the only point of weakness I see is the link with Germany, because it is the country that may have a greater slowdown than Italy in 2023."

  • Spreads 
    "Our country's fundamentals are much closer to those of France. A country like ours cannot have a BTP/Bund spread that is higher than that of Greece."

  • Italy's financial autonomy
    "It is unimaginable that a country with over ten trillion euros in private wealth could find itself in the position of depending on others to support its public debt. We need to achieve a degree of financial independence and not remain hooked up to the ECB's spigot."

  • Europe
    "This is a phase in which we should have as much support as possible from the point of view of Europe's intervention, but it is very important to be in a position to do our part also making ourselves independent of Europe's support."