Italy’s government has joined Europe’s austerity club by approving a budget containing deep cuts in public spending.
Despite insisting for months that the nation’s finances were immune from a Greek-style crisis, the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is to slash the country’s bulging budget deficit by some 24 billion euros during the next two years.
It is hoped the pre-emptive action will restore waning investor confidence in the economy.
Like Greece, Spain and Portugal, the measures include cuts to public sector recruitment and a freeze on wages as well as reduced funds for local government.
The plans will now be put before parliament.
Italy to announce deep budget cuts