Rome

Monti says prices would be even higher with lira

Premier says tax hikes averted 'financial collapse'

Monti says prices would be even higher with lira

(ANSA) - Rome, September 13 - Prices in Italy would be even higher than they are at the moment if Italy had not dropped the lira and adopted the euro, Premier Mario Monti said on Thursday. Many Italian people blame the introduction of the euro for sharp increases in the prices of many items since its launch in 2002 and skepticism about the benefits of the single currency has increased recently with the euro zone debt crisis and the recession. But former European commissioner Monti believes things would be even worse if Italy had stuck with the lira. "If we hadn't passed over to the euro, the prices of goods and services in Italy would be much higher than they are," the premier said at a conference in the capital at the Roma Tre university. Tax increases introduced by Monti's emergency government have helped push up prices, but he said they were necessary. "To avoid financial collapse, Italy has adopted measures that are leading to high prices for the public and companies," said Monti.

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