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France, Germany know Italy's fall would end euro, says Monti

Cabinet studied how to set, pass reform package ASAP

25 November, 15:10
France, Germany know Italy's fall would end euro, says Monti (see related stories on site) (ANSA) - Rome, November 25 - France and Germany have faith in new Premier Mario Monti and are supporting his emergency technocrat government's efforts to steer Italy out of its debt crisis as they know the price of failure would be the end of the euro, Monti told a cabinet meeting here on Friday.

The former European commissioner reported to his ministers a day after after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the first time since he replaced Silvio Berlsconi as premier.

''Sarkozy and Merkel expressed full confidence in Premier Monti and his government and reiterated their support for Italy, saying they were aware that Italy's collapse would inevitably lead to the end of the euro, provoking a stall in the process of European integration with unpredictable consequences,'' a government statement said. Respected economist Monti said he had told the leaders that Italy still aimed to balance its budget by 2013 with the help of a clear programme of ''fair but incisive'' structural reforms.

He said the outline of the reforms he gave to Merkel and Sarkozy was based on a speech he gave in the Italian Senate last week, after coming under fire from some quarters for unveiling details of the programme at the meeting that he had allegedly not presented at home.

The statement added that the cabinet had ''started the debate on finding the operative path to take to draft a package of measures to adopt as soon as possible''.

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