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Italy's PM Renzi easily wins confidence vote

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Italy's PM Renzi easily wins confidence vote

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Italy’s lower house of parliament has given its full backing to the government of new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

In his maiden address to the Chamber of Deputies, the 39-year-old said radical steps were needed to revive an economy that’s barely grown over the past 15 years.

His speech was similar in style and substance to the one he gave to the Senate. But he spelled out that a promised “double digit” reduction in labour taxes this year meant a cut of 10 billion euros, rather than 10 percent as had been widely interpreted and would have meant around a 30 billion euro cut.

Renzi also devoted more attention to the European Union, saying Italy’s 6-month presidency of the region from July was “a gigantic opportunity” to establish a greater role for the country in shaping EU policy.

However, his speech, which gave little details, was greeted coolly by the chamber, with little applause even from his parliamentary majority.

Renzi won his first confidence vote in the upper house Senate on Monday.