In order to address his country’s raging crisis, Silvio Berlusconi has just concluded a press conference on saving Italy.The gist is this: After conferring with the ECB and fellow European leaders, Italy intends to speed up reforms and introduce a balanced budget amendment.
Now the goal is to have the budget balanced by 2013, not 2014.
This will be accomplished through liberalizations and asset sales — there were no new reforms, just an acceleration and front-loading of previously announce ones. Berlusconi and his Finance Minsiter Giulio Tremonti believe this is enough.
For now the market is relieved. US markets have rallied back hard on the news that Italy and the ECB are doing something.
In the meantime, the G7 Finance Ministers are moving up the deate of their next conference.
The press conference is over.
Check out the notes below.
Berlusconi’s talking points:
- Berlusconi says he talked to ECB today. Is going to speed up pre-existing measures.
- Suprise, he attacks speculators.
- Says austerity will be frontloaded.
- There will be an early meeting of G7 finance ministers.
- Budget will be balanced by 2013, rather than 2014.
- Balanced budget amendment coming.
Now Finance Minister Tremonti is talking:
- Confirms intent to introduce balanced budget amendment.
- Will liberalize the labour market further via the contitution.
- More asset sales coming.
- Italian measures just need speeding up, not changing.