Italy: Monti - cuts are only way to save us from economic disaster
Incoming Prime Minister, Mario Monti, has told Italy it must accept radical plans by his "government of national engagement" to slash waste, corruption and privilege – or see its economy fail.
The technocrat premier, whose government is expected to be confirmed by the lower house today, said he would prioritise growth and fairness to revive Italy's finances but warned of sacrifices to come – and told parliamentarians they could also expect to feel the force of his austerity measures.
His government won a confidence vote 281-25 in the Senate as protests raged in Rome, Palermo and Milan. In an earlier speech to the Senate, he said his first priority in the coming week would be to spell out to the EU the cuts and reforms beyond those already pledged by the outgoing government of Silvio Berlusconi. He planned to contain the raging debt-confidence crisis.
The need for such action has been underlined by market nervousness, with borrowing rates at dangerously high levels. Defending his government from accusations that it was merely doing the EU's bidding, Mr Monti said: "We shouldn't see the reforms as European impositions. They are things we need to do for our own benefit." But underlining his strong pro-European beliefs, he added: "We are Europe."
Without providing details, he pledged to overhaul employment law that he said offered excessive privileges to regular workers in larger firms, while denying rights to those on temporary contracts.
He also promised to "gradually" lower tax rates while cracking down on Italy's ruinous levels of tax evasion and to consider the reintroduction of property tax, which was abolished by Mr Berlusconi.
Mr Monti stressed the need to get women and young people back to work. Trimming pensions, fighting organised crime and deregulating professional services were also on the agenda.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...