Italians Must Make Sacrifices to Avoid Collapse, President Says

Italians will have to make sacrifices to avoid financial collapse and must keep faith in Europe, President Giorgio Napolitano said in a New Year’s speech.

“Nobody, today -- no social group -- can stall on the commitment to contribute to the revival of public accounts to avoid the financial collapse of Italy,” Napolitano said in his televised speech late yesterday. “The sacrifices won’t be useless. Only united can we progress and count as Europeans in a radically changed world.”

A crisis that began in Greece has spread within the euro- area and leaders are struggling to convince investors they can contain the risk and assure the euro’s survival. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech yesterday she expects turbulence in 2012 and will do “everything” to save the euro and end Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos said in an e-mailed statement that his country faces a “difficult” year and must continue its efforts to remain in the euro and avoid economic collapse.

Italy must fight corruption and tax evasion, Napolitano said, adding his country had no future without regeneration of the political system.

“We all need to understand that for a long time the State, grew too much and spent too much, ending up imposing heavy taxes on honest contributors and placing a serious mortgage on the shoulders of future generations,” the Italian President said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Armorel Kenna in Milan at akenna@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net

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