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Monti calls vote of confidence on latest €33bn cuts package

Mario Monti wants to be totally sure that he retains the support of the Italian parliament as he presents yet more austerity.

Image: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER Mario Monti has called a vote of confidence in his own government, ahead of a full parliamentary vote on another major package of austerity measures.

A vote of confidence will be held on Friday in advance of the debate on a €33 billion package of spending cuts and tax increases.

The measures include the proposals to raise the retirement age for women from 60 to 66, in line with the age for men – an announcement which brought welfare minister Elsa Fornero to tears as she announced it.

The vote will be held in the lower Chamber of Deputies on Friday.

The news comes as the cost of borrowing for Italy on 10-year bonds hovers around the 6.7 per cent mark.

Monti’s cabinet separately announced that Italy would be relaxing its freeze on all Libyan assets held in the country, introduced at the early stages of its former colony’s civil war.

Libya has already indicated that these funds will be used to repay debts held by Libyan companies to Italian nationals and corporations.

Monti took power four weeks ago as part of a technocratic government appointed by Italian president Georgio Napolitano, after the previous premier Silvio Berlusconi lost his outright majority in parliament.

Watch: Italian welfare minister cries during austerity announcements

Read: Monti will forgo salary as Italy approves new round of austerity

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Gavan Reilly

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