Italy government wins vote on austerity plan

Mario Monti, the Italian PM, gets approval from senate for a $39bn package of tax hikes and pension reforms.

    Monti's government has held a confidence vote on the unpopular austerity measures days before Christmas [AFP]

    Mario Monti, the Italian prime minister, has easily won a vote of confidence in the Senate, signaling parliamentary approval of the government's $39bn package of tax hikes and pension reforms.

    The austerity package is intended to save the country from financial disaster and follows rising concerns in the markets that Italy will find it difficult to pay off its massive debts, which stand at around $2.5 trillion.

    The upper house voted 257 to 41 for the government, following a similar easy win in the lower house last week.

    Monti said he was happy with the vote and Italy could hold its head high in Europe after passing the package of spending cuts, tax rises and pension reform.

    The budget is intended to reverse a collapse of market confidence which has pushed Italy's borrowing costs to untenable levels and put it at the heart of Europe's debt crisis.

    Addressing the Senate before the vote, Monti said his technocrat government had to push through the budget as fast as possible.

    "Today this chamber concludes a rapid, responsible, complex job... on a decree that was passed in extreme emergency and that enables Italy to hold its head high as it faces the very serious European crisis," Monti declared.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.