Monti’s cabinet wins vote on talk of austerity and fairness

Marion Dakers
ITALIAN Prime Minister Mario Monti comfortably won a vote of confidence in his new government yesterday, after promising rigour and fairness in painful reforms to dig the country out of a financial crisis that threatens the entire Eurozone.

As violent protests erupted in Rome and Milan, Monti said he would target tax evasion, education reform and labour changes in a tough round of measures to rescue Italy from a “serious emergency”.

His government of technocrats won a Senate vote by 281 votes to 25, and is expected to win a further vote in the lower house at lunchtime today.

Monti also said he would reform the pension system to remove unfair disparities and also signalled the government would re-introduce a tax on first homes that was abolished by Berlusconi.

He would also sell off public assets, while lower taxes on labour and output would be balanced by higher levies on consumption.

Students protested in Milan, approaching the Bocconi University, which Monti chairs. They threw firecrackers at police and chanted: “Monti will make us all beggars.”