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Govt will spend 800 mn euros on fighting poverty in 2014

Letta says extra 300 mn found on top of 500 million allocated

27 December, 13:13
Govt will spend 800 mn euros on fighting poverty in 2014 (ANSA) - Rome, December 27 - Premier Enrico Letta said Friday that his left-right coalition government will spend 800 million euros on measures to fight poverty in recession-battered Italy next year.

Earlier this month, national statistics agency Istat said almost 30% (29.9%) of people living in Italy were suffering or risked suffering poverty and social exclusion in 2012. Italy has been badly hit by the global economic crisis, with unemployment climbing to record highs of over 12% and four in 10 young people under 25 out of work.

The country is currently emerging from its longest recession since World War II.

After two years of negative growth, Italy's gross domestic product was flat in the third quarter with respect to the April-June period. Letta said Friday that the government had managed to find 300 million euros for poverty-fighting measures on top of the 500 million already allocated.

He was speaking after his cabinet approved the Milleproroghe decree that traditional follows the annual budget and contains a hodgepodge of measures that needed to be passed before the end of the year.

The decree features some measures that were contained in a separate package, the so-called Save Rome decree, which the government dropped even though it passed a confidence vote in the Lower House after President Giorgio Napolitano expressed reservations about its constitutionality.

They include assistance for the cash-strapped capital's council.

Letta said the Milleproroghe also reinstates a measure giving the House the power to cancel multi-million-euro "golden rent" contracts for offices outside the parliament building in central Rome.

The cancellation of the measure in mysterious circumstances caused outrage among opposition parties.