Passes austerity package
The Chamber of Deputies (lower house) passed a €54 billion austerity package yesterday in a close finish, with 316 votes for and 302 against. The Senate (upper house) had passed the bill earlier, although there had been attempts to alter the original package.
The package has long been trailed with tax hikes and budget cuts which have led some critics, especially in the business community, to complain about the lack of job boosting and growth opportunities. Giulio Tremonti, the Minister of Economy and Finance has said that there will be a separate package presented soon to boost the economy.
It is too early to say how the markets will react, but they will also be considering the comments of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday when they reaffirmed that Greece must stay in the Eurozone.
The real problem is whether both Italy and Greece are able to implement the legislation they have put into place. Following the vote yesterday there were widespread protests and riots in Rome, and that is before the effects of the package are felt.