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Monti Seeks to Cut Spending in Sicily Amid Concern of Default

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, pressing for the resignation of Sicilian Governor Raffaele Lombardo, will push for spending cuts in the region to improve the local government’s finances.

“We’re in spending review mode,” Elisabetta Olivi, a spokeswoman for Monti, said by telephone. “We think there are substantial wastes and spending excesses” in Sicily’s public accounts.

Monti’s office said earlier today in a statement that the premier recognized “serious concerns about the possibility Sicily could default” and wrote to Lombardo for clarification. Sicily’s finances are “sustainable,” Lombardo said in a subsequent statement. The Sicilian governor confirmed his intention to resign.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Frye in Rome at afrye@bloomberg.net; Chiara Vasarri in Rome at cvasarri@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net; Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net.

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