Mario Monti, who replaced Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister, is calling on fellow Italians to accept legislation that would impose an additional 30 billion euros ($40 billion) in austerity measures on top of what has already been approved. He plans to take his proposal, already approved by his cabinet, to the legislature late Monday, and it could be voted on by Christmas.
Bloomberg reported that although Monti is advocating “shared sacrifices” that include measures that tie pensions to contributions instead of to a worker’s last salary, brings back property taxes and adds a tax on luxury goods, protesters are staging demonstrations to counter what they see as unfair burdens.
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s political party, People of Liberty, which is the largest in Parliament, is also disrupting Monti’s efforts. While the party said in November that it would back Monti, its support was restricted to the implementation of austerity measures that were announced before Berlusconi resigned Nov. 12. Berlusconi also said that his party is opposed to any new levy on wealth or high earners.