Michael Rundle
The Huffington Post
July 14, 2011

The Italian Senate has passed a stringent package of austerity measures in a budget intended to save 48bn euros over three years.

The budget was passed by 161 votes to 135 and will now move to the lower house, which votes on Friday.

The Italian economy is under intense scrutiny by the markets due to the enormous scale of its national debt. Italy’s current budget deficit equates to 3.9 per cent of its GDP. The budget was brought to parliament ahead of schedule due in part to a report from the International Monetary Fund, who asked the country to implement “decisive” spending cuts.

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