Rome, January 18 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti on Friday proposed easing taxes on companies that hire young Italians as a way to counter chronic youth unemployment. Monti, who is standing for office in next month's general election on a reform platform backed by several centrist parties, also called for an end to nepotism in Italian public life and assistance for young people trying to buy their own house. The former European commissioner, who took the helm of an emergency government of unelected technocrats in November 2011, said via Twitter that it was necessary to introduce "forms of detaxation for those who hire people under 30". Well over a third of Italians aged 15 to 24 are out of work. Monti also forwarded the idea of a "family programme featuring supported mortgages for young couples for their first homes" along with tax breaks and "0 bureaucracy for startups". He added that he would like to see a "change of generation" in the professions, politics and public institutions by making "merit" the watchword and eliminating nepotism. Monti's new reform ticket was only fourth in an opinion poll released Friday by the SWG agency, with 13.7% of voters intending to back it.
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di Giovanni Pastore