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Italian economy minister outlines extra tough measures

(Xinhua)

09:48, August 15, 2011

Italy's Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti attends a news conference at Chigi Palace in Rome August 13, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

ROME, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The day-after the Italian government approved an additional anti-crisis emergency plan worth some 45.5 billion euros (about 64 billion U.S. dollars), Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti outlined on Saturday the contents of the tough measures in an attempt to reassure both markets and citizens.

Talking at a press conference, Tremonti acknowledged that the plan was austere and would lead to many sacrifices, but that the "global crisis was unpredictable" and therefore necessitated drastic and immediate actions to boost the already-approved budget plan and secure the country's finances, as requested by the European Central Bank (ECB).

The anti-crisis plan, which rotates around the two pillars of cutting public expenditures and raising new taxes on high incomes, is divided in three main parts, he explained.

First part is curbing of political, bureaucratic and institutional costs. Second are new growth incentives to boost the slow economy. Last part includes measures aimed at reinforcing state finances.

The overall impact in the next years up to 2013 will have a value of 90 billion euros, stressed the minister.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday expressed satisfaction for the anti-crisis plan, saying that he had already received phone calls of congratulations from major European leaders including German Chancellor Angel Merkel.

The emergency plan now passes to the exam of parliament and is expected to be cleared by start of September.

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