Whale of a Problem

Nate Beeler
The Washington Examiner

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Related: Italy welfare minister breaks down in tears as government agrees austerity measures 

Mario Monti, the Italian prime minister, declared the package of tax hikes, budget cuts and pension reforms a “decree to save Italy”, at a press conference following after a cabinet meeting.

Italy will “put its deficit and debt under strong control” so that the country is “not seen as a suspicious flash point by Europe,” he said.

He also warned that Italians had to make “sacrifices” and said he was renouncing his own salary as prime minister in a gesture of solidarity.

The three-year package includes a controversial pension reform that will increase the minimum pension age for women to 62 starting next year and fall into line with men by 2018, by which time both will retire at 66.

The number of years that men have to pay contributions to receive their full pensions will also be increased from the current level of 40 to 42.

Ms Fornero, whose proposals have already been criticised by Italy’s main trade unions, broke down as she outlined the changes…




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