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Monti’s Popularity Dips After Unveiling Austerity, Poll Shows

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s popularity has dipped since his government passed a 30 billion-euro ($40 billion) austerity plan this month to help trim the euro region’s second-biggest debt burden, according to a poll.

Confidence in Monti fell to 58 percent from 62 percent on Dec. 1, three days before his Cabinet approved the emergency economic package, Rome-based IPR Marketing said today in a poll for daily la Repubblica. Monti took over on Nov. 16 after Silvio Berlusconi resigned as premier.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents blamed the need for the “tough” measures, including an increase in property taxes and a pension overhaul, on Berlusconi’s government, IPR said. Thirty percent said global financial turmoil made the plan necessary, while 27 percent said that the “Save Italy Decree” was Monti’s responsibility.

The telephone poll of 1,000 people was conducted on Dec. 12 and has a margin of error of 3.3 percent, IPR said.

Monti’s popularity compares with a rating of 22 percent for Berlusconi in IPR’s previous poll in November, his lowest level since 2008.

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