Italian Senate Approves Austerity Measures, Paves Way for New Government

Italy’s Senate has approved debt-reduction measures intended to shore up investor confidence and pave the way for a new interim government that may be led by former European Union Competition Commissioner Mario Monti.

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The Senate in Rome voted 156 to 12 to pass the package of austerity measures promised to the European Union in order to secure further bond purchases. Opposition lawmakers did not take part in the vote, allowing the bill to pass.

The Chamber of Deputies will give final approval of the legislation tomorrow, after which Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will formally tender his resignation.