EU waits for Italy's austerity plan

Oct. 25, 2011 at 2:48 PM

ROME, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The European Commission said it was waiting to hear from Rome how Italy will manage its financial troubles.

The answer to that may not be right around the corner, ANSA reported Tuesday.

Some say the coalition government of Silvio Berlusconi is on the verge of collapse, as the premier tries to pass austerity measures that eurozone partners have demanded.

A spokesman for European Commission Jose Barroso said, "EU is awaiting a letter from Berlusconi with the specific measures Italy intends to adopt and up to now it has not had any indication."

In Rome, however, an emergency Cabinet meeting ended with no formal agreements.

''We are negotiating but it seems to me that there is this hypothesis,'' said Infrastructure Minister Altero Matteoli, referring to a hypothesis presented to him by a reporter that the Berlusconi's government could collapse.

After blocking Berlusconi's pension reform plan, Northern League party leader Umberto Bossi said, "there is room for negotiations."

Progress, however, may come slower than it did in September, when the government approved a $75 billion austerity package that was expected to put the budget back in balance in 2013, ANSA said.

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