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Italian PM to outline austerity measures

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Italian PM to outline austerity measures


The symbolic trappings of government have been handed over to Italy’s new Prime Minister Mario Monti. Silvio Berlusconi’s leaving has paved the way for a new government of technocrats and not a politician to be seen.

It is expected the new leader will today outline his austerity measures aimed at restoring confidence in the country’s public finances. He will then go before the Senate to seek a vote of confidence in his new cabinet.

And what a line-up! Italy’s top economic and financial brains have been called upon to sort out everything from pensions, employment reform and deregulation of the market place.

Monti has kept the key economy and finance portfolio for himself while appointing Corrado Passera as industry minister.

One reporter asked Passera what was likely to be the most difficult task? As if already learning the ropes his response was a slick, “all the tasks are difficult but the government is united.”

Monti has already said he is confident his new government will calm the panicking financial markets. With Italian bond yields already over the critical seven per cent level, the eurozone is hoping he is right.

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