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New Italian PM Calls for Growth, Not Austerity

New Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta is calling on his country and the euro currency bloc to promote economic growth and end reliance on austerity measures to resolve Europe's governmental debt crisis.

In his first address to parliament, Mr. Letta said that "Italy is dying from austerity alone. Growth policies cannot wait."

He said that "Europe is in a crisis of legitimacy and ... must become once more a motor of sustainable growth."

Mr. Letta said he would visit European leaders in Brussels, Paris and Berlin in the next few days to advocate a change in Europe's focus on solving the debt crisis through spending cuts, higher taxes and elimination of government jobs.

The push for austerity throughout the 17-nation eurozone has been led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But in recent days, other European leaders have voiced concerns that austerity alone cannot cut the region's record jobless rate or advance its stagnant economy.

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