News / Europe

Italian Parliament Approves Latest Austerity Plan

Italian Premier Mario Monti, center, is flanked by Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, left, during a meeting in Rome, December 15, 2011.
Italian Premier Mario Monti, center, is flanked by Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, left, during a meeting in Rome, December 15, 2011.

The Italian government has overwhelmingly won a crucial parliamentary vote of confidence Friday over an austerity package intended to help the third largest economy in the eurozone get its finances in order.

The lower house of parliament voted 495-88 in favor of a nearly $40 billion austerity package Friday, with the upper house voting next week.

Prime Minister Mario Monti's technocratic government has broad support in both houses and has pushed through a series of tax hikes, spending cuts and pension reform to bring Italy's budget in line by 2013.

Democratic Party lawmaker Livia Turco said her party had supported the measure after pressing for changes to make it more fair.

"We think that the austerity package that Prime Minister Monti has presented is necessary because - as it is well-known in the whole world - Italy is particularly at risk in this crisis," she said. "We gave our contribution as democratic party, so this package would be more fair, so we have tried to protect the weaker parts of the population."

But Claudio D'Amico of the Northern League complained that residents of northern Italy are being asked to pay too much.

"Because we believe that this government is not serving the interests of the whole country and, above all, of all the citizens in the north who have paid and with this austerity package they will have to pay even more," he said.

Monti was appointed last month to replace longtime Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi stepped down just before Italy began considering the austerity measures to avoid a debt crisis.

Anger over the austerity measures also sparked security concerns Friday.

Italian police said they intercepted several threatening letters sent to Prime Minister Mario Monti, other government officials and the editors of several major newspapers.

Police said in addition to the threat, each letter also contained a single bullet. The letters were signed by a group calling itself the Armed Proletarian Movement.

On Monday, police in Rome discovered two suspicious packages mailed to Italy's justice minister and the mayor of Rome.  Authorities said the packages, discovered at Rome postal facilities, contained bullets.  

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid