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Bersani rules out new wealth tax, to concentrate on IMU

'I'm no Robespierre' says PD leader

18 January, 11:52
Bersani rules out new wealth tax, to concentrate on IMU (ANSA) - Rome, January 18 - Democratic Party (PD) leader and centre-left candidate for premier Pier Luigi Bersani on Friday clarified his position over the possible introduction of a controversial wealth tax, saying that his coalition would concentrate on reforming the existing IMU property tax introduced by the technocrat government of Mario Monti.

''I do not intend to be a Robespierre,'' Bersani told Radio 24 of Italy's leading business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore in reference to the French revolutionary who instituted a reign of terror. ''We already have a wealth tax and it is IMU,'' he continued. ''We want to work on this, making it progressive in support of those in greatest difficulty''.

The introduction of a wealth tax has been at the centre of public debate since Monti took office to try to save the struggling economy in November 2011. Such a tax has broad support among left-wing politicians but meets with opposition from moderate members of the centre-left and the centre-right.