Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti supports putting the country’s planned austerity measures to a parliamentary confidence vote. The government has called for a Ã¢â€šÂ¬30-billion ($39-billion U.S.) package of tax hikes and spending cuts that have been hotly contested by lawmakers and unions. Despite opposition to the measures demanded by the European Union and the European Central Bank, they are expected to pass.
ItalyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s borrowing costs spiked again in its last bond auction of the year on Thursday when the debt-ridden nation paid a yield of 6.47 per cent for investors to lend it Ã¢â€šÂ¬3-billion over five years. The rate was up 0.17 per cent from the last such auction a month earlier and was the highest paid by Italy since the euro was introduced in 1999.
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