Rome

IMU tax elimination a move to save government, says Monti

Former premier hopes Letta's executive has 'backbone'

IMU tax elimination a move to save government, says Monti

Rome, August 29 - The move to eliminate the controversial IMU tax by Italian Premier Enrico Letta was fueled by his desire to ensure that his fragile left-right coalition doesn't collapse, ex-premier Mario Monti said on Thursday. Centre-left Democratic Party (PD) member Letta "preferred to assure the survival of the government by surrendering," Monti said in an interview on Italian state-run TV RAI. "I continue to hope that this government lasts, but I hope they have a backbone and that they do not become spineless and at the mercy of pressure from the other party (Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party)," Monti said. Government ministers finalized a deal to readjust the controversial property tax known as IMU on Wednesday, agreeing to plug the revenue hole with spending cuts and not by raising taxes. Former premier Berlusconi and supporters of his People of Freedom (PdL) party have threatened to bring down Letta's government since its founding in April if it failed to roll back the tax, a central plank in his campaign platform in February elections when his centre-right party roared to second and ultimately won a junior partnership in the current left-right coalition.

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