Italy’s fractious coalition government has reached an 11th-hour deal on pension reform ahead of the crunch EU gathering in Brussels.
Day-long tense talks between party leaders thrashed out a compromise over some retirement rights but will it be enough to satisfy Europe’s leaders?
The chief of the Northern League Umberto Bossi, whose support is vital to the survival of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, remained pessimistic for the future of the government.
With a comprehensive and unpopular reform package required from Italy by today’s EU gathering analyst Professor James Walston said the future lay in completely unchartered waters.
“The European Union made it very clear on Sunday and Monday that they wanted action immediately and they (Italy) will have to do that on Wednesday. If Berlusconi goes, there will not be immediate action but there will be the possibility of immediate action, because he has not done anything, he has not done enough over the last four months.”
Facing his own political meltdown over scandals and corruption trials Berlusconi and Italy are now centre stage of the euro zone crisis needing to convince all, that it can control its own 1.8 trillion euro debt pile.