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Italian government backs €24 billion austerity package

The government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (pictured) has approved a legal decree enforcing budget cuts worth 24 billion euros in a bid to reduce the public deficit from last year's 5.3% of gross domestic product to 2.7% in 2012.


AFP- The Italian government approved Tuesday austerity measures worth 24 billion euros for 2011-2012 aimed at stabilising the public finances, a government source told AFP.

"The legal decree has been approved," the source said at the end of a cabinet meeting, adding that the measures, made up of spending cuts and revenue increases, amounted to a total 24 billion euros (25.9 billion dollars).

The measures are supposed to help the government cut the public deficit from 5.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 to 2.7 percent in 2012, bringing Italy into line with an EU limit of three percent.

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