taly’s prime minister is facing another vote of confidence on Wednesday – this time of his own making rather than due to a political crisis – sparking concerns that the government is “fiddling while Rome burns.”
Prime Minister Enrico Letta called the vote of confidence after Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the “Forza Italia” party, pulled his support from the coalition government. This vote of confidence is designed to confirm Letta’s new majority, the government said, and comes only a few weeks after the last vote of confidence on the country’s 2014 budget.
Ahead of the vote on Wednesday morning, Letta told the Italian parliament that Italy must avoid “chaos” and that the country’s priorities for 2014 were to cut Italy’s public debt and deficit as well as reducing taxes on families and companies and boosting employment, Reuters reported.
That’s easier said than done in a country with the second highest debt pile in the euro zone after Greece, at 133 percent of its economic output, a budget deficit hovering around the European limit of 3 percent and unemployment at a record high of 12.5 percent in October.
The prime minister also promised a reform package to boost growth on Wednesday. Italians have suffered the effects of more than two years of recession and a fragile coalition government that struggled to enact meaningful reforms due to political volatility.
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