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IMF praises Italy’s austerity

The International Monetary Fund yesterday welcomed Italy’s commitment to reduce its fiscal deficit and said containing the public wage bill should be the focus of cost-cutting measures. The IMF strongly commended measures adopted by Italy’s cabinet late Tuesday to cut the fiscal deficit to 2.7 per cent of GDP by 2012. Italy’s deficit was 5.3 per cent of GDP in 2009 – below the EU average – and public debt rose to about 115.8 per cent of GDP by the end of 2009.