CUTS GO THROUGH: Italian Premier Mario Monti easily won a vote of confidence in the Senate on Thursday, signaling parliamentary approval of the government's euro30 billion ($39 billion) package of tax hikes and pension changes.

WHY IT MATTERS: The austerity package is intended to save the country from financial disaster. Investors have grown concerned that Italy will have trouble paying down its euro1.9 trillion ($2.5 trillion) debt load.

PROTESTS: One of the most disputed reforms is that of Italy's generous pension system. Italians will have to work longer. Unions staged strikes and demonstrations last week to protest the measures.




TOWNHALL MEDIA GROUP