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Berlusconi says Letta agreed to scrap IMU property tax

Controversial PdL election pledge condition for govt

29 April, 13:47
Berlusconi says Letta agreed to scrap IMU property tax (ANSA) - Rome, April 29 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said Monday that new Prime Minister Enrico Letta has agreed to his demand for the IMU property tax to be scrapped as a condition for his centre-right People of Freedom's (PdL) support of a new executive.

Scrapping the unpopular tax and returning the revenues gained from it in 2012 was Berlusconi's key pledge in the run-up to February's inconclusive general election, which was followed by two months of deadlock.

Letta's Democratic Party (PD) said it would ease IMU - which was instituted among a series of austerity measures under former Premier Mario Monti's emergency technocrat government - for the worse-off, but ruled out scrapping the tax, saying this would wreck the budget.

"For us, reimbursing the 2012 IMU and scrapping IMU for 2013 are a sine qua non," Berlusconi said. "We told that to Letta, who gave us reassurances about this. Now we'll see what happens".

Letta, who was sworn in along with a cabinet that features a mix of politicians from different parties and some highly respected institutional figures, is set to illustrate his executive's plans in a speech in the House later on Monday ahead of confidence votes in both chambers of parliament. Abolishing IMU and reimbursing the 2012 revenues from it would create a hole of around eight billion euros in this year's budget.