European leaders demanded that euro members press on with budget cuts to end the debt crisis as Italy edged closer to a new election after an anti-austerity vote last week resulted in political deadlock.
Finance ministers from the 17-member single-currency bloc meet in Brussels today to discuss issues including a bailout for Cyprus. In Rome, a top aide to Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani said the country may need to hold another election this year after passing new electoral laws.
“Now in Europe, after the Italian election, it seems to be a case of either austerity and savings programs or growth, but that’s a completely false premise,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at March 1 event. EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn echoed those comments this weekend, telling Der Spiegel magazine that there’s no scope for the bloc to let up on budget discipline.
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