Italian government adopts package of anti-crisis measures

ROME, August 13 (Itar-Tass) —— The Italian Council of Ministers met in urgent session Friday evening to adopt a package of decisions on a “super-maneuver” – additional measures to stabilize the economy. The documents provide saving 20 billion euros of public funds in 2012 and another 25 billion in 2013.

After three days of incessant consultations, which at the final stage were attended by President Giorgio Napolitano, the Berlusconi Cabinet managed to reach agreed solutions in spite of the differences within the ruling coalition, the discontent of the trade unions and the anger of the opposition.

The decree contains a number of unpopular measures in the field of pensions and taxation, reduces subsidies to local governments by 9.5 billion euros (6 billion in 2012 and 3.5 billion in 2013), introduces an additional “solidarity tax” on major deposits and cuts the funding of ministries by 8.5 billion euros. One of the newly-taken measures is fewer days off.

Government measures, commentators say, were made hastily under pressures from EU financial institutions for preventing Italy’s default.

A real alternative to this no easy decision would be a government crisis, the dissolution of parliament and the appointment of a “technical government” (a cabinet of experts) to govern the country.

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