Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

Video

Italy pushes through austerity plans

Friday, November 11, 2011 - 02:08

Nov. 11 - The Italian parliament is pushing through austerity measures demanded by the European Union to try to prevent a meltdown of the euro zone and expected to form an emergency government, as the United States has stepped up pressure on Europe to act. Joanna Partridge reports

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Finally, some long-awaited action. Italy's responding to the demands of its European neighbours and pushing through austerity measures and reforms, which they hope will restore market confidence in Rome. On Friday, the Senate approved a new budget law aimed at boosting the economy and controlling Rome's huge public debt. Final approval of the package from the lower house will then clear the way for the formation of an emergency government to replace Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi has promised to resign once the package is approved. The man expected to replace him - former European Commissioner Mario Monti - voted in the upper house for the first time on Friday, a few days after becoming a Senator for life. Many Italians seem to believe Monti's the right man for the job. SOUNDBITE: Italian businessman, Giovanni, saying (English): "I think he'll be good, he's capable. He's inheriting a complete disaster but I think he's got the right capabilities. Let's hope for the best." SOUNDBITE: Rome resident, Claudia, saying (English): "I hope he does better than the last lot. I just hope things improve." Reuters European Affairs Editor Paul Taylor says while Monti has never held national government office, he is an accomplished networker. SOUNDBITE: Paul Taylor, Reuters European Affairs Editor, saying (English): "He is really, if you like, Davos man. He is a member of all those inner circles around the world where the power elites meet and is highly regarded in those circles. Whether that enables him to break the mould of Italian politics remains to be seen." Analysts say Italy has finally got the message after bond markets pushed it to the brink of needing a bailout that the euro zone can't afford to give, and Greece has also formed a new unity government. But the United States is demanding fast action from Europe. Italian 10-year borrowing costs have fallen to 6.7% from the unsustainable level of 7.5% earlier this week. But some investors are questioning whether Italy's new government can carry out the necessary structural changes to halt the spread of the debt crisis. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Italy pushes through austerity plans

Friday, November 11, 2011 - 02:08