italy pm warns of \antieuropean\ movement
Last Updated : GMT 06:41:18
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Italy PM warns of \'anti-European\' movement

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Arab Today, arab today Italy PM warns of \'anti-European\' movement

Berlin - AFP

Italy PM  Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti warned on Wednesday of possible \"anti-European\" protests in his country if Rome\'s reform efforts were not recognised, ahead of a key meeting with Germany\'s chancellor. Speaking in German daily Die Welt, Monti complained: \"The problem is that despite our sacrifices, we have not got anything in return from the European Union, such as a drop in interest rates.\" \"Unfortunately, we have to say that our reform policies have not received the recognition and appreciation in Europe that they deserve,\" the prime minister added. \"If the Italian people do not soon see tangible success for their savings and reform efforts, there will be a protest against Europe, against Germany -- seen as the driver of EU intolerance -- and against the ECB,\" he added. Monti came to power in November at the head of an unelected government of technocrats after a wave of financial market panic and a parliamentary revolt forced the resignation of scandal-hit Silvio Berlusconi. The eurozone\'s third largest economy, Italy sparked fears 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. Monti has pushed through a crushing austerity plan to fix the nation\'s problems but there is still concern over the impact on an economy that is moving into recession. Despite the worries, Monti insisted to Die Welt: \"I know that these problems are solvable.\" He said the Italian mindset was not so far removed from the German way of thinking when it came to austerity and the best strategy to exit the eurozone debt crisis that has threatened to tip the bloc into recession. \"My government has presented to the Italians a host of decisions without the usual long-winded political processes and rites that were normal in Italy until now,\" he said. Later Wednesday, Monti was due to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel for talks likely to focus on the eurozone debt crisis. The talks cap a three-day flurry of diplomatic efforts in Berlin to stem the crisis. Merkel met French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde on Tuesday. Ahead of the meeting, Monti stressed that the Franco-German \"motor\" could not solve Europe\'s problems alone. \"A Europe based around two poles would actually be a bad Europe. They would both be making a bad mistake if they think they alone can govern Europe,\" he said. After Berlusconi\'s departure, further efforts have been made to include Italy in eurozone talks, with a trilateral meeting taking place in Paris. The trio will meet again in Rome on January 20 ahead of an EU summit in Brussels 10 days later.  

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