• Courage to do right

    A number of factors will impede Zuma’s opportunity to have a ‘Lula moment’, says Prof Dirk Kotze.

  • #Budget2016

    Possible steps that can be taken in the National Budget to avert a junk status.

  • No ordinary SONA

    A weak president presiding over a racially polarised nation faces a serious task.

All data is delayed
Loading...
See More

Berlusconi under fire at EU summit

Oct 23 2011 13:09
Sapa-AFP

Brussels - Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, under sharp pressure from his EU partners over Italy's finances, was called in for pre-summit tete-a-tetes Sunday as European leaders headed into crunch talks on the debt crisis.

Berlusconi arrived at the summit venue well ahead of his 26 counterparts for talks with European Union president Herman Van Rompuy and was to join a three-way meeting, also ahead of the crunch summit, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"The idea is to pressure Berlusconi," a diplomat said amid fears Italy is being sucked into contagion from the eurozone crisis, but is failing to take tough action.

The Italian leader held a face-to-face meeting late Saturday with Merkel and, when asked whether he thought he had convinced her of his determination to announce new cuts and reforms, said "I think so."

The EU executive last week pressed Italy to move on cuts in public spending and structural reforms "as a matter of urgency."

European officials believe Italy has softened on its vows to implement cuts and reforms since August, when the European Central Bank (ECB) moved to support Rome by buying up its debt on markets.

Irritation is all the stronger at a time Europe is battling to protect Italy and Spain, its third and fourth largest economies, against contagion from the debt crisis.

At talks with his conservative partners, Berlusconi outlined an austerity plan adopted by the Italian parliament, said a party to the talks who could not be named. But he appeared "very reluctant" on the need to do more, a diplomat said.

Budget cuts adopted by its parliament in July and September aim to bring the country back into balance from 2013 and reduce its colossal 1.9 trillion euro debt, amounting to 120 percent of its Gross National Product.

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

SMALL BUSINESS

Marketing is a big concern in SA's small business community, followed by a lack of confidence and partnering with the wrong people, according to a survey.
 

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Will Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation speech help SA avoid "junk" downgrade?

Previous results · Suggest a vote

Loading...