Rome

Berlusconi puts time limit on govt to fix economy

'Progress in 50 days or serious price to pay'

Berlusconi puts time limit on govt to fix economy

Rome, August 22 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday that the fragile coalition government must make quick progress if the country is to pull out of recession. "In the next 50 days, either the government is able to give the country a positive boost, one that's visible to all Italians, or we will continue to be bogged down by a recessive tendency," he said in an interview with online daily Tempi. "And we certainly can't get excited over some decimal point of improvement. Either Italy recovers and takes off, or we risk paying a very high price for the (economic crisis)". Italy is currently undergoing its worst recession in decades. The coalition government, of which Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party is a junior member, has pledged to make recovery a central focus. But differing views on how to do that, such as an ongoing row over reforming a controversial property tax known as IMU, have plagued the government since its unprecedented inception in April after two months of post-election gridlock in parliament.

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