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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

narrowing, window to press ahead with structural, fiscal, and financial reforms. Executive Board Assessment 2 Executive Directors noted that the Italian economy has been recovering steadily in recent years, supported by accommodative policies, a favorable global environment, and the authoritiesreform efforts. Notwithstanding the progress made, long-standing structural weaknesses, high public debt, and impaired bank balance sheets continue to pose challenges. Directors commended the authorities for their ongoing efforts to reform the economy. They stressed that

International Monetary Fund

; and trade liberalization has also continued. Executive Board Assessment Executive Directors welcomed Syria’s strong macroeconomic performance in recent years, as manifested in the rapid non-oil GDP growth, comfortable level of foreign reserves, and low and declining government debt. This performance reflected both robust regional demand and the authoritiesreform efforts to shift toward a more market-based economy. At the same time, Directors observed that oil production and exports are declining, and Syria has already become a net oil importer. Inflation