Saturday, August 6, 2011

Berlusconi urged to resolve econ crisis

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

Source: Press TV

Italian leaders of business and trade unions call on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to calm the market turmoil that is threatening to plunge the country into a financial crisis.

"The situation is grave. It must be confronted with maximum determination and without excuses or shortcuts," representatives of 36 business and trade union organizations said in a statement following their Thursday meeting with the premier in Rome.

At the meeting, aimed at mapping out a strategy for economic reforms, the union and business leaders called for more liberalization, privatization, cuts in bureaucracy, labor market reform and more reliable measures to curb Italy's budget deficit, AFP reported.

The event comes after Berlusconi came under criticism following his Wednesday speech in parliament where he promised "an immediate action plan" for growth without giving any concrete details.

The Italian economy, the third largest in Europe, grew just 0.1 percent in the first quarter of the year.

On Tuesday, Italian sovereign debt risk premiums soared to eurozone record highs. Following the news, stock markets in Italy plunged by nearly three percent.

So far, Greece, Ireland and Portugal have already received bailout packages from the European Union.

There are growing fears that Italy may be next in line to eclipse the previous bailouts and further undermine the Euro.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has rejected the possibility of a debt rescue plan for Spain and Italy.

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