italian pm calls emergency meeting after eu pressure
Last Updated : GMT 04:22:31
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Italian PM calls emergency meeting after EU pressure

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Arab Today, arab today Italian PM calls emergency meeting after EU pressure

Milan - AFP

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called an emergency cabinet meeting on Monday to review new austerity measures after EU leaders pressed him to fulfill pledges to cut Italy\'s huge debt and stop eurozone debt contagion. In a statement, the Italian government set an extraordinary cabinet meeting for 1600 GMT Monday \"to examine measures that are consequent of the European Council held yesterday and in advance of the next summit to be held Wednesday.\" In Brussels on Sunday, Berlusconi said the cabinet would to try and plough through reforms, notably in the pensions system. \"I wish to take advantage of this situation to see if we can advance measures I was unable to implement up until now due to differences within the majority,\" he told reporters after a European Union summit. But in Rome, Berlusconi allies from the Northern League party said on Monday they opposed reform to the retirement system even if they recognised the issue needed addressing at a special cabinet session. The centrist opposition from the UDC party said they were ready to vote in favour of pension reform, if \"well done\". Before the summit this weekend, the Italian premier held one-on-one talks with EU president Herman Van Rompuy and another meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. \"We have to reassure investors and reassure other states,\" Van Rompuy told a news conference. \"Clearly, we are asking for a major effort on the part of the Italian authorities and I think they are ready to do it.\" With another EU summit on the eurozone debt crisis scheduled for Wednesday, Van Rompuy said leaders would work \"hand-in-hand\" with Berlusconi in the coming days to make sure Rome \"implements what it promised.\"  

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