Rome

'No need for more austerity' says Monti

'Govt on track to fulfill budget goals'

'No need for more austerity' says Monti

(ANSA) - Rome, July 20 - Premier Mario Monti on Friday repeated that Italy would not require further austerity measures to fix the country's finances. "We have no intention of implementing new austerity cuts," said Monti. "We are on track to fulfill our budget goals and thus there is no need for new measures". Shortly after replacing Silvio Berlusconi's cabinet amid a peak in the debt crisis in November, Monti's administration of technocrats implemented an emergency 30-billion-euro austerity package to restore public finances to health. In addition, the government is currently trying to push through a hotly contested 26-billion-euro package of public-spending cuts and sell-offs, which Monti says falls under the category of structural reform and not austerity. Known as the "spending review", the latest round of anti-crisis measures has sparked the ire of Italy's labor unions, which have called the cuts to the public sector "a meat cleaver" and have vowed to strike in September if major changes are not made. The measure, which will go before the House at the end of July, was approved by the cabinet earlier this month.

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