Italy: Parliament approves four-year austerity budget in record time

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. Rome, 15 July (AKI) - Members of Italy's lower house of parliament on Friday approved by 316 votes to 284 a 45 billion euro austerity package aimed at eliminating Italy's budget deficit and quelling market fears over the country's ability to curb its public debt. Two MPs abstained from the vote.

    The Italian government had tabled the motion as a vote of confidence. The Senate upper house of parliament approved the plan in Thursday a confidence vote, and the austerity budget now needs to be signed by Italy's president Giorgio Napolitano to become law.

    With Italy under intense international pressure to swiftly enact measures to avert an Italian debt crisis, opposition parties responded to pleas from Napolitano to cooperate in approving the austerity budget in record time, although they disapprove of many of its measures, including an increase in hospital fees and other public services.

    The International Monetary Fund this week asked Italy to ensure "decisive implementation" of spending cuts to reduce the country's debt.

    In a report on Italy, the IMF said "only sustained growth will reduce the burden of public debt," echoing earlier comments by Italy's central bank governor and president-elect of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi.

    The IMF comments came as concerns continue that Italy may be the next country to be hit by the eurozone's escalating debt crisis.

    Italy is the eurozone's third-largest economy and has the second-highest debt of about 120 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). Its deficit was 4.6 per cent of GDP last year.

    Finance minister Giulio Tremonti has resisted pressure to resign from cabinet colleagues, fearing the tough budget will defeat the government at elections due in 2013. He claims the international community backs the austerity measures but national unity is needed to implement them.
  2. I see a domino effect taking form. Its only a matter of time till one topples and brings the others down with it.