Italian parliament approves austerity budget
December 22, 1996
Web posted at: 11:45 a.m. EST (1645 GMT)
ROME (CNN) -- Italy's lower house of parliament approved the
government's 1997 austerity budget Sunday, with two
parties abstaining from the vote.
The new budget, which shaves 62.5 trillion lire (U.S.$41
billion) off the 1997 projected deficit, is an attempt to
prepare Italy for a single European currency.
The final vote was 316-2, with the Freedom Alliance,
headed by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and the
secessionist Northern League boycotting the final vote. The
opposition parties criticized the package, saying Prime
Minister Romano Prodi and his center-left government are
leaning too heavily on tax hikes.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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