Siena

Four issues for first 100 days says Letta

Youth jobs, IMU, tax breaks for growth, political reforms

Four issues for first 100 days says Letta

Siena, May 13 - Four issues will top the government's 'road map' in its first 100 days in office, Premier Enrico Letta said after a one-day bonding and planning 'retreat' in a Tuscan abbey Monday. The issues are: creating jobs for young people; agreeing on changes to the IMU property tax which ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi wants scrapped and rebated; tax breaks to encourage entrepreneurs; and political reforms to cut spending and abuse which have created widespread public disenchantment. He also said Italy needed to change its electoral law and strip the Senate of law-making powers, turning it into a regional assembly, to avoid gridlock like the two-month stalemate that followed February's inconclusive general election. A special body called a convention will be set up to agree constitutional reforms and will be led by the House and Senate Constitutional Affairs committee chiefs. A panel of "external" experts to give the convention reform proposals will be set up shortly Previous attempts to remove the powers of the Senate - at present equally as powerful as the House - have foundered on the upper house's reluctance to vote itself out of existence.

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