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Italian PM Berlusconi vows to pursue economic growth

08-04-2011 13:49 BJT

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Italy's Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi is pledging economic growth will be his government's key policy aim. He is also vowing to complete his five-year mandate to ensure stability. Berlusconi made the comments in response to the growing turbulence in financial markets, which sent yields on Italian bonds to new 14-year highs. Investors are worried Italy could be dragged into a financial crisis similar to Greece's.

It's the height of summer in Rome, and Italy is sweltering in the heat of economic difficulties.

Investors who are worried about the financial woes facing Italy, have rushed to sell Italian bonds, sending the market borrowing rates to a record high.

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi,
left, flanked by Finance Minister
Giulio Tremonti, addresses the
Parliament on the state of the
economy in Rome, Wednesday,
Aug.3, 2011.

After a volatile day on the markets, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi addressed the lower house of parliament in Rome about the state of the economy.

Berlusconi said, "Let us remind ourselves and others; the country is economically and financially solid. In difficult moments, it knows how to stay together and confront difficulties. The government and parliament will act, I hope, with a large political and social consensus to fight every threat to our financial stability. Today more than ever, we need to act all together."

Berlusconi told parliament that Italy "has not done little" in response to the crisis, adding that the country needs to promote competitiveness and growth.

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, left, touches
the head of Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti after
addressing the Parliament on the state of the
economy in Rome, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011.

Berlusconi said that the 70 billion euros in austerity measures passed last month will balance the budget by 2014. He emphasized that 9 billion euros for infrastructure projects mostly in the poorer south approved earlier Wednesday will help promote growth.

He also said that Italian banks remain solid and investors who have pushed up Italy's borrowing rates do not recognize the country's fundamental strengths: a stable banking system, low levels of private sector indebtedness and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Growing market jitters have intensified opposition calls for Berlusconi's resignation, with center-left leaders claiming there is a lack of international confidence in the Italian leader. But Berlusconi stands firm, saying he will stay in office until his mandate expires in 2013.

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, left, flanked
by Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti, reacts after
addressing the Parliament on the state of the
economy in Rome, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011.

Editor:Li Wanran |Source: CNTV.CN

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