Financial Times slams 'Berlusconi's victory on property tax'

IMU reform 'buys time' for govt, but a 'bad deal' overall

Financial Times slams 'Berlusconi's victory on property tax'

Rome, August 30 - British daily The Financial Times on Friday slammed a government agreement in Italy this week to cancel a controversial property tax known as IMU, calling the "bad deal" an effort to buy time for the fragile left-right coalition of Premier Enrico Letta by agreeing to demands from ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi. "It marks the triumph of short-term politics over Italy's longer-term interests," said the editorial. The deal forged Wednesday, after months of partisan bickering, put an end to threats from Berlusconi to pull the support of his center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party from the government and force snap elections. Now the government faces an estimated three-billion-euro revenue gap as a result, and a pledge to cut the budget deficit to less than 3% is at risk, as the European Union's announcement it was studying the deal indicated Thursday. "While (Berlusconi) may claim victory against rivals, Italy is once again the loser," said the Financial Times.

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