The annual address by the governor of the Bank of Italy is traditionally critical of the nation's economic performance. But this year's commentary -- delivered May 30 by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi -- was more of an utlimatum to initiate economic recovery.

Mr. Ciampi warned that if the government does not take measures immediately, "within the next few weeks," Italy's high inflation rate and huge public-sector defict risk leaving the county out of Europe's monetary union laid out at Maastricht.

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