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Italian senate chief: Crisis measures by Christmas

December 2, 2011
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ROME—The president of the Italian senate says Parliament is ready to guarantee passage before Christmas of Premier Mario Monti's crisis package meant to save the country from financial disaster.

Monti's Cabinet meets on Monday to approve the measures, which are widely expected to include new and higher taxes, a higher retirement age, and tax breaks for employers.

The new premier says Italy must urgently cut its debt but also jump-start the stalled economy.

Senate President Renato Schifani told reporters Friday that once the Cabinet acts on Monday, lawmakers will work swiftly to ensure final approval of the measures before the Dec. 25 holiday.

He says it is vital Italy move swiftly to "combat speculation."

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