Mike Curtiss (2
"Italian PM called on
Italians to make sacrifices to prevent the "financial
collapse of Italy""
President Giorgio Napolitano on Saturday called on
Italians to make sacrifices to prevent the "financial collapse
"Sacrifices are necessary to ensure the future of young people,
it's our objective and a commitment we cannot avoid," he said in
a New Year's speech to the nation.
The eurozone's third largest economy, Italy sparked fears in
2011 that its toxic mix of low growth, high debt and spiralling
borrowing costs could force it to seek a bailout like fellow
eurozone members Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
"No-one, no social group, can today avoid the commitment to
contribute to the clean up of public finances in order to
prevent the financial collapse of Italy," he said.
"The sacrifices will not be in vain," he added, "especially if
the economy begins to grow again."
Silvio Berlusconi's replacement by Mario Monti as prime minister
in November has helped ease fears of an imminent debt implosion
as the former European Union commissioner quickly put in place a
tough plan of austerity measures.
But there is still concern over the plan's impact on an economy
that is moving into recession after shrinking by 0.2 percent in
the third quarter.
And Italy's ability to borrow on the debt markets is being
closely watched as a bellwether of current confidence in the