Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Cabinet agreed to include economic measures promised to the European Union last month in a budget bill that Italy’s Parliament must pass by Nov. 15. The announcement came on the eve of a Group of 20 summit in Cannes, France.
President Giorgio Napolitano blocked an attempt by Berlusconi to push through the measures using a government decree, forcing the vote, newspapers including la Repubblica reported today. The prime minister is also openly feuding with Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti, Repubblica and other newspapers said.
In an October letter to the EU, Berlusconi included pledges to raise the retirement age, ease rules on firing workers and accelerate state asset sales. The changes will be included in a bill on state spending for the next three years currently being examined by the Senate.
COMPANIES: *Sales of Fiat SpA (F)’s namesake brand in Italy fell 5.4 percent in October, the Italian Transport Ministry said last night on its website. Total car sales in the country fell 5.5 percent in the month to 132,703 vehicles. *Eni SpA (ENI) said Mellitah Oil & Gas restarted yesterday gas production in Libya from the Sabratha offshore platform, according to an e-mailed statement.
WHAT TO WATCH: *Berlusconi and the other leaders of the Group of 20 meet in Cannes.
COMMODITIES: *United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) releases in Rome the FAO World Food Price Index for October.
MARKETS: *Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index (FTSEMIB) rose 2.3 percent to 15,273.31. *The Italian 10-year bond yield spread between 10-year Italian bonds and German bunds narrowed 6 basis points to 436.3 basis points.
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