News Column

Italian Government Wins Final Parliamentary Approval

Nov 18, 2011
Mario Monti
Mario Monti

Italy's new technocratic government led by Prime Minister Mario Monti on Friday won the last of two mandatory parliament confidence votes when it received the endorsement of the lower house Chamber of Deputies.

Legislators voted by 556 to 61 in favour of the government.

Late Thursday, the government won a similar confidence votes in the upper-house Senate received the endorsement of the Senate.

All political parties except the right-wing Northern League backed the government, which has been tasked with restoring investor confidence in Italy's debt-ridden economy.

Speaking during the debate ahead of the Chamber of Deputies vote Monti announced he would be travelling to Strasbourg on Thursday for a meeting with the leaders of Italy's main eurozone partners

"I will meet, upon their request with (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel and (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy: a three-way meeting to, from now on, permanently offer Italy's contribution to solving the euro's problems," Monti said.

Monti is also due to meet European Union President Herman Van Rompuy in Brussels next Tuesday, his office said. On the same day, Monti is also expected to have talks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

On Thursday new Italian premier who is a former EU commissioner announced plans to cut public spending and stimulate economic growth - moves deemed necessary to reassure market concerns over Italy's credit worthiness.

Monti said his government would aim to eliminate Italy's budget deficit by 2013, a pledges first made in recent months by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Plans include the possible introduction of a property tax on first homes, pension reforms including in some cases raising the retirement age from 60 to 67 and the scrapping of certain branches of the public administration, such as provincial governments.

Monti also said that to stimulate growth, the government intends to review current laws governing the hiring and firing of employees which he described as being "too rigid".

Source: Copyright 2011 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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