PM Monti vows to balance Italian budget by 2013
Italy's new Prime Minister Mario Monti insisted at eurozone debt crisis talks Thursday that his country would balance its budget in 2013, after raising doubts over its ability to do so.
Monti said after the talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he had laid out his economic programme to the leaders, "confirming the objective of a balanced budget in 2013."
Monti had on Tuesday raised doubts about his chances of balancing the budget by 2013, saying his government would "respect" the commitments made by his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi, who was toppled by the crisis.
But he said of the 2013 budget: "We want to see how to take into account the (economic) cycle to calculate this objective."
On Thursday, Monti said: "The objective of balancing the budget in 2013 is not called into question.
"Italy must make a particular effort because it has a very high debt," said Monti, who took office earlier this month at the head of a technocrat government of national unity.
Quoting Merkel, Monti said that each country "must do its own duty at home."
"We will do our duty at home," he said.
© 2011 AFP