Employers chief warns no one to get in way of Letta govt

Squinzi says no alternative to left-right executive

Employers chief warns no one to get in way of Letta govt

(see related stories on Letta, Confindustria report) Rome, June 27 - The head of Italy's powerful industrial employers' confederation Confindustria on Thursday warned that no one should try to cause trouble for Premier Enrico Letta's left-right government. Letta executive is the fruit of an unprecedented alliance between his centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party. The long-standing foes were forced together in April to end two months of political deadlock after February's general election failed to produce a clear winner. But the partners have been bickering about several policy issues. The PdL has threatened to sink the government if it fails to scrap an unpopular property tax called IMU and avert a scheduled 1% rise on the top band of value added tax (VAT) - a hike that on Wednesday the cabinet postponed until October to buy time to find the money to avoid it all together. Berlusconi's legal problems have heightened tension too, after the three-time premier was handed a seven-year term in a sex trial on Monday and failed in a bid to have the Constitutional Court strike down a four-year fraud conviction last week. Elements within the PD, the biggest party in parliament, are unhappy about the centre left being in an alliance with the a group led by Berlusconi and there is speculation they would like to break from the coalition to form a new government with the leftwing SEL and defectors from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement. But Confindustria President Giorgio Squinzi said Thursday that Italy and its recession-ravaged economy needed Letta's government to keep going. "We cannot miss the opportunity to have the government work assiduously and serenely," said Squinzi. "The government has a difficult road ahead of it, but no one must put themselves in the way. "The government needs to have prospects of long-term stability that give it time to prepare and consolidate a plan of economic policy. "I have good faith in the Letta government. I'm convinced good sense will prevail. "This executive is the only solution possible. It's a government of people of good will. "It's moving in the right direction, step by step". Squinzi added that he was pleased about the package of measures the government presented Wednesday to combat youth unemployment by providing tax breaks for firms who hire under-30s on permanent full-time contracts. He also applauded the postponement in the rise in the top band of VAT from 21% to 22%, while saying that the priority should be for the government to beef up moves to pay public-sector debts to private suppliers and to act to reduce labour taxes.

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