Berlusconi claims victory in IMU property tax war

Left must 'deal with our agenda,' says PdL founder

Berlusconi claims victory in IMU property tax war

Rome, May 17 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi claimed victory in the battle over Italy's IMU propery tax in a Facebook video message on Friday. "The left was sure to win, and instead it now has to deal with our agenda: IMU will be dropped and already by June will not have to be paid," Berlusconi said. Premier Enrico Letta said Friday that his government had given its "first responses" to "families, firms and workers" in recession-hit Italy by approving a decree that suspends the June rate of property tax IMU. He added that the decree featured measures to find one billion euros to refinance the budget for CIG unemployment benefits, which is danger of running out within months as applications soar. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano of Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party, one of the two main parties backing Letta's new right-left government, said he was "extremely satisfied" with its first move to reform the unpopular IMU property tax. Contention over the removal of IMU has been one of the main issues straining ties between Letta's Democratic Party (PD) and PdL, and has been used by Berlusconi's party as a threat to topple the recently formed government that brought the two sides together.

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