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24 October 2012

Bloomberg: Monti endorses radical policy stance as Italy prepares for vote

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, facing resistance from parliamentary backers over his 2013 budget proposal, said government policies needed to be radical to step up the pace of change.

Monti, who imposed austerity in his 11 months in power, is fending off calls to change a budget plan that in its current form would raise the value added tax, cut income tax deductions and reduce rates on the lowest earners. The premier is dealing with discord as his coalition partners prepare for elections next year in which he has said he won’t seek a second term. “We need a transformation that is much more radical than what’s been done” by the current government, Monti said.

Monti’s supporters are seeking to assert themselves after giving ground in opinion polls to opposition voices like the eurosceptic, comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo. Monti met this week with partners including former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Pier Luigi Bersani, head of Italy’s Democratic Party.

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© Bloomberg

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