13 Aug '11, 7pm

Italy austerity 'appreciated' by Merkel and ECB, says Berlusconi

ROME: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Central Bank (ECB) head Jean-Claude Trichet "strongly appreciated" Italy's latest austerity budget, Silvio Berlusconi said on Saturday. The Italian prime minister told the news agency Ansa that he had spoken to both the German leader and Trichet. "The theme of the discussion was not just Italy but also the euro and therefore Europe in general. Because of that everyone was closely watching what Italy would be able to accomplish", he said. Italy's cabinet approved a 45.5 billion euro ($64.8 billion) austerity budget on Friday that would see high earners taxed more and substantial cuts to local government in a bid to return Italy to a balanced budget in 2013 instead of 2014 as previously planned. It is Italy's second austerity budget in as many months, after the government agreed a package worth 48 billion euros in July. Berl...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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channelnewsasia.com 12 Aug '11, 12pm

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