Italian gov't approves austerity budget to stabilize finance

20:47, May 26, 2010      

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The Italian government on Tuesday approved the 2011-2012 budget which heavily cuts down on public expenditures in a bid to stabilize the country's finance and sustain its weak economic revival.

Major cuts concern public administration costs, ministries' budgets and state employees whose salary growth is set to freeze for a three-year period.

The budget's goal is to raise a total of 24 billion euros (30 billion U.S. dollars) through a curb on public expenditures and increased revenues primarily deriving from a tougher crackdown on tax dodgers.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti met with the country's top trade unions and local regional authorities Monday, calling for a greater spirit of cooperation in such a hard moment when Europe was trying to cope with the Greek debt crisis.

Tremonti said that the budget was harsh and sacrifices were necessary from all parts if Italy wanted to reduce its dangerous debt level.

The Italian regions lamented the budget cuts, while the workers' unions were planning to organize a general strike in protest against the austerity policies.

The opposition has challenged to modify the budget when it goes to the parliament for approval.

Italy's financial maneuver is in line with Europe's emergency strategy following the Greek default.

Berlusconi met with the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso last Friday to discuss the urgency of shielding the euro zone's stability with a series of coordinated actions aimed at curbing public debts and spending levels of the European Union member states.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王寒露)

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