Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti has said the country would have suffered a crisis like Greece if a tough austerity package had not been introduced.
The measures were hashed out during an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday and presented to parliament on Monday.
“The austerity, which is calling for sacrifices from our country, is fundamental for social fairness and, at the same time, is a launching pad for development. The events of the last months prove that our country’s and Europe’s destinies are strongly connected,” Monti told parliament.
Announcing the measures on Sunday evening, an emotional Elsa Fornero, Social Affairs Minister, broke down in tears.
Despite Monti giving up his premier’s salary, some think more political savings can be made.
“The austerity budget is a heavy one, but we think it is necessary. However, we ask that it is rebalanced in the future, with a real cut in spending, mostly in the cost of politics and the cost of running the state,” said Emma Marcegaglia, Head of the Confederation of Italian Industrialists, Confidustria.
Two of Italy’s largest unions, CISL and UIL, have scheduled two-hour strikes for next Monday, December 12.
However both organisations stated they are willing to discuss changes to taxes and pensions with the government.
Italy unions call strikes following austerity package