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Italy 'unconcerned' after ratings downgrade

Italy 'unconcerned' after ratings downgrade
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Despite ratings agency Moody’s cutting Italy’s credit rating, the government is remaining positive.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi took the news in his stride, describing the downgrade as “expected”.

With his term in office not up until 2013, Berlusconi is keen to focus on what he thinks the government is doing right.

Fabrizio Cicchitto, spokesman for the Prime Minister’s PDL party in the Lower House said:

“After the other agency, Standard & Poor’s, downgraded us last month, we were expecting the same from Moody’s. Nevertheless, let me remind you that the latest economic measures implemented by the government in August are considered efficient by the European authorities.”

However, a former ally of Berlusconi, Pier Ferdinando Casini, leader of Union of the Centre Democrats, had a more scathing assessment of the government’s performance.

“We are living through tough times,” he said. “Beyond us, we feel the threat of Greece’s scenario. We also see a total lack of responsibility from those who are supposed to take decisions, and this is paralysing our politics.”

With reports about sex parties and criminal trials involving bribery and corruption, some say the Prime Minister, who is 75 years old next month, is spending more time on his public image than dealing with the country’s economic situation.