Italy government braces for confidence vote

Italy PM Enrico Letta lays out pro-European vision ahead of vote considered a crucial step towards political stability.

    Enrico Letta  promised a pro-Europe Italy as he sets out his economic policy [EPA]
    Enrico Letta promised a pro-Europe Italy as he sets out his economic policy [EPA]

    Italy's new prime minister has sought an end to the political deadlock that has marred the recession-hit country since February.

    Speaking ahead of a confidence vote on Monday, Enrico Letta outlined his vision for a pro-European Italy focused on increasing investments and creating jobs.

    Italy has been effectively leaderless since an inconclusive election in February, and is now under pressure to act fast to tackle social, economic and institutional ills.

    "Italy is dying from austerity alone. Growth policies cannot wait," Letta said during his inaugural speech to parliament.

    The confidence vote is a crucial step towards political stability, and the centre-left made concessions to its political opponents in order to keep the tentative coalition on track.

    Letta said Italians will not have to pay an unpopular property tax this June, while a system fairer to the less affluent is being devised.

    Letta says he will travel to Brussels, Berlin and Paris soon to reassure EU allies about Italian economic seriousness.

    Financial markets have already signalled approval of this apparent end of the months-long political deadlock.

    The confidence vote is due to take place at 18:00 GMT and will determine the future success of Letta's government.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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