Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is to present a new 24-billion-euro ($32billion) new austerity plan to the parliament on Monday in a bid to cut the country’s massive state debt and get the ailing Italian economy back on track.
Monti said the new anti-crisis package approved by his government over the weekend would help the eurozone’s third largest economy avoid the scenario unfolding in Greece, which is teetering on the brink of default.
Monti said Italy was in a deep crisis and should take all efforts to save it, adding that he hoped the Italian parliament would approve the government’s new anti-crisis measures.
The new government package focuses on measures to fight tax evasion, stimulate economic growth and competition and cut government spending. As an unpopular measure in the new austerity plan, the government has proposed increasing the retirement age to 62 years for women and 66 years for men.
Monti, an ex-EU commissioner, was appointed as Italy's prime minister on November 16 after the resignation of the 75-year-old Silvio Berlusconi, who stepped down after parliament approved austerity measures demanded by the European Union to help trim Italy's massive 1.9-trillion-euro debt.