Berlusconi pledges to accelerate budget measures

AP News
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Posted: Jul 12, 2011 9:01 AM
Berlusconi pledges to accelerate budget measures

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi says the government will bring forward the timetable it has for a raft of austerity measures, designed to prevent the eurozone's third biggest economy from getting embroiled in a debt crisis that has already seen three countries get bailouts.

Berlusconi said in a statement Tuesday that the recent turmoil in financial markets, particularly in Italy, has prompted the government to accelerate and strengthen the measures, so that the country can have a balanced budget by 2014.

The Italian leader said the government is "stable and strong" and expressed confidence that the opposition would work with it "to defend the country."

Officials now say they want the measures passed by Sunday instead of sometime in August.