|Italy's Renzi wins final confidence vote, pledging reform
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 18:45:55
Italy's Renzi wins final confidence vote, pledging reform
ROME, Feb 26 ( APP/Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
won a final parliamentary vote of confidence on Tuesday after
pledging to slash red tape and "revolutionise" the economy.
The Chamber of Deputies approved the confidence motion by
the comfortable margin of 378 in favour to 220 against, fully
empowering the coalition consisting of Renzi's Democratic Party
(PD), the New Centre Right party, centrists and other small
Renzi had been expected to win the vote easily due to the
PD's lower house majority.
The 39-year-old Renzi, Italy's youngest prime minister, said
radical steps were needed to revive an economy that has barely
grown for the past 15 years and restore citizens' confidence in
In his first address to the lower house ahead of the vote,
Renzi said "Italy's finest page has yet to be written", in a
speech that produced many of his trademark rhetorical flourishes
but few specific policy commitments.
However in a later television interview he added some
details, saying that his government would present amendments
within 15 days to unblock 60 billion euros ($82.40 billion) to
pay off public administration arrears.
He suggested that a promised 10-billion-euro cut in the
"tax wedge", the difference between what an employer pays and a
worker takes home, could come from reducing required social
But he backed away from a previous indication by his chief
of staff that Italy could increase taxes on Italian debt
"I think there is space to increase tax on financial
investments earnings, I wouldn't say from treasury bills but on
pure financial investments, to reduce the costs of labour,"
Renzi told the interview with television show Ballaro.