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Italy's new package of reforms

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 01:35

Dec. 11 - Italy's Prime Minister has won a confidence vote in the lower house of parliament after warning the country risked chaos if it dd not back him. Earlier he promised a package of reforms to lift Italy's stagnant economy back to growth. Hayley Platt reports.

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For two decades they've avoided reforms - it's time Italy took action. That was the message from Prime Minister Enrico Letta as he endured another government confidence vote. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER ENRICO LETTA SAYING: "I'm proud to be here to tell you our game tactic will be to attack, because Italians have the right to be paid back for their sacrifices. We won't allow the country to fall back into chaos." Italy's economy is stagnant. And two years of recession and painful austerity has left the public feeling bitter. A rise in industrial output in October offered some hope. But progress is slow, says Joshua Raymond from City Index SOUNDBITE: Joshua Raymond, Market Strategist, City Index, saying (English): "The data that we're seeing from Italy is still incredibly volatile. I don't think we've seen a massive vote of confidence and people are still sitting on the fence." Letta is planning new electoral laws to try and end the political deadlocks which have often held Italy back. He also wants to cut Italy's massive public debt - the second highest in the euro zone. Lower taxes for families and companies are on offer, plus a promise to reduce unemployment and boost public investment. Privatisations will continue and state employees will be offered shares in companies like the post office. It's an 18 month plan to create 1% growth next year and 2% the year after. But his government needs to last that long. This was his third confidence vote since October and with Berlusconi now banned from parliament there is room for political manoeuvering.

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Italy's new package of reforms

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 01:35