Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi says his cabinet will decide on emergency measures for the victims of this week's powerful earthquake. As Hayley Platt reports, the disaster raises serious questions over the country's construction laws - and over the resilience of a fragile economy.
This used to be one of Italy's most beautiful towns. And this is what's left following Wednesday's quake in central Italy. The 6.2 magnitude was felt up and down the country - claiming hundreds of lives. But even as the priority remains with finding survivors, attention turns to what it could also mean for a fragile economy. (SOUNDBITE)(English) SIMON SMITH, MARKET ANALYST, FX PRO SAYING: "Italy's growth has underperformed just about every other euro zone nation since the start of the single currency, average growth of less than 1 percent a year during that time, continued budget deficits as well building up the debt pile." The government was due to meet to decide on emergency measures for the affected communities. Amid a sense that how prime minister Renzi handles the disaster could shape voter sentiment ahead of the country's referendum on constitutional reform later this year. That potentially could be as toxic for Renzi as Brexit was for former UK prime minister, David Cameron. Renzi saying he'll resign if he doesn't win. (SOUNDBITE)(English) SIMON SMITH, MARKET ANALYST, FX PRO SAYING: "I think it's more to me just moving the deckchairs on the Titanic. Yes there's changes in the power within the legislative but you know is that really going to bring about the changes that the economy needs in terms of structural reform and bring back growth, probably not." Despite the devastation, longer term Italy's economy could see a move forward. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "Ultimately I think in the longer term it actually could despite the tragedy of the earthquake prompt a little bit of an infrastructure boom a bit of a spending boom in the longer term and actually prompt some investment in some of the poorer parts of the country." For now Renzi has his work cut out - not least rebuilding its quake-hit towns as well as Italy's economy.