Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi approved on May 26 approximately 24 billion euros (USD29.7 billion) worth of budget cuts that will be implemented over the next two years. Fifty percent of the cuts will be made by reducing the funds allocated by the central government to regions and cities, while some 6 billion euros will be carried out through a three-year cut and freeze on public-sector wages. The cuts also include a 10 percent budget cut for government ministries, a crackdown on tax evasion, and partial amnesty on illegal construction. The budget cuts are needed to boost Italy’s public finances and “absolutely necessary” to protect the euro, Berlusconi said, according to Bloomberg.
“The sacrifices requested are absolutely necessary to defend our currency,” Berlusconi said in Rome. “Defending the euro today means saving Italy’s future.”