Italy’s new prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, stressed the need for economic growth as he outlined his government’s programme to parliament.
Elected last month with a comfortable majority, the flamboyant media tycoon said: “This country must get back on its feet. It has the capacity to quickly put itself back on track and begin a new chapter of the Republic, which must be about growth.”
He also singled out the rubbish crisis in Naples and security as his main priorities but claimed that stronger economic growth will be key to tackling a range of other issues.
Berlusconi added: “Growth means absorbing and intergrating internal and external migration from the European community, of which we are part, in an wise and orderly manner.
“We will remain masters of our own house but proud of our traditional spirit of welcome and our capacity for intergration.”
But plans drawn up by Italy’s interior minister on immigration have rung alarm bells, particularly in Romania, where the country’s prime minister said they could fuel xenophobia towards Romanians.