Italy Unveils Austerity Package

The bunga-bunga days are over: Italy’s new prime minister, Mario Monti, unveiled a 30-billion-euro austerity package Monday. Monti proposed to raise 10 billion euros with a new property tax, a new tax on luxury items like yachts, a hike in the value-added tax, and an increase in the pension age; the rest of the money will be saved through budget tightening and economy-boosting measures. Monti issued the package as an emergency decree, meaning the measures will take effect immediately; however, he will need legislative approval within 60 days for them to continue.