Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Berlusconi calls for budget rewrite in Monti meeting

English
© ANSA

Rome, October 24 - Silvio Berlusconi called on
Premier Mario Monti to re-write some of the most important
budget measures contained in the government's so-called
Stability Law in three hours of talks late on Tuesday.
Ex-premier Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom
(PdL) party is the biggest group in parliament and therefore its
support is crucial for Monti's emergency administration to be
able to get the package approved.
Berlusconi and PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano reiterated
that they were unhappy about a 1% increase in value added tax
and a retroactive reduction in tax deductions for the current
tax year, ANSA sources said.
The party is planning to publicly campaign for these
unpopular parts of the package to be amended, ahead of general
elections next spring.
Monti is said to have defended the bill, which also
features reductions in income tax in the two lowest bands and a
series of cuts that will hit sectors including health and
eduction.
Tuesday's meeting was part of a series of encounters about
the budget that Monti is having with the leaders of the three
main groups supporting his administration of non-political
technocrats.
Later on Wednesday the premier is set to meet Pier Luigi
Bersani, the leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, who has
said his MPs would not vote for the education cuts.
Bersani recently said he feared the cuts would cost the
jobs of over 6,000 Italian school teachers.
Monti's government has said it is willing to accept some
amendments to the Stability Law during its passage through
parliament.
The premier has stressed though that the measures do not
amount to another austerity package like the tax hikes and
spending cuts his government passed last year to put Italy on
course to balancing its budget in structural terms next year and
take the country out of the centre of the eurozone crisis.
On Monday Monti met Pier Ferdinando Casini, the leader of
the centrist UDC, whose support of Monti's administration has
been almost unconditional.
"The Stability Law is not unchangeable and it's the
politicians' job to put it into motion in agreement with the
work of the (government) experts," said Casini.
"All we want to do is make this budget fairer. His
(Monti's) only concern is to make sure the budget's overall
figure (of revenue and spending) remains the same and that the
efforts the Italian people have made to regain credibility, as
measured in the bond-yield spread, is not compromised".

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