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Italy passes austerity package

Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 01:26

July 16 - Italy's parliament approves 48 billion euro austerity package that is set to balance country's budget by 2014. Jessica Gray reports.

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The eurozone crisis deepens as Rome hands down its own austerity measures. Italy's parliament approved a 48 billion euro austerity package in a rushed vote on Friday that included spending cuts and new taxes. Authorities are trying to calm fears of a full financial meltdown after the cost of borrowing skyrocketed in recent days. But opposition parties who criticized the package say the measures are unlikely to balance Italy's budget by 2014 as promised. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) OPPOSITION PARLIAMENTARIAN BRUNO TABACCI "It's not worth pretending that this package is going to calm down the markets. It is something positive and the Italians should be content that it has passed at such speed but it is clear that the final judgement is on the politics of the government and its actions in the recent months, and there are still many question marks over this, it is clear for everyone to see." Although President Sylvio Berlusconi appeared pleased with the vote, the controversial figure may not be able to hold onto power when his term ends in 2013. Berlusconi is fighting four separate corruption and sex court cases that have furthered divided Italians. Jessica Gray, Reuters

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Italy passes austerity package

Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 01:26