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Italy's government calls confidence vote on austerity measures.

Rome, Muharram 20, 1433, Dec 15, 2011, SPA -- Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's technocratic government on Thursday called a parliamentary confidence vote on a package of austerity measures the premier says are urgently needed to save Italy from bankruptcy, dpa reported.

The measures are being currently debated in the lower house Chamber of Deputies which is now expected to hold the confidence vote on Friday afternoon.

The package will then be debated in the upper-house Senate with final approval - possibly also through a confidence vote - expected by the end of next week.

Chaos ruled in the lower-house Chamber of Deputies as the Minister for Relations with the Parliament, Piero Giarda, announced the confidence vote.

Chamber of Deputies Speaker Gianfranco Fini ordered the expulsion from the sitting of two legislators from the Northern League party who held up banners bearing the slogans "Shame".

The move prompted another Northern League legislator, Gianluca Pini, to shout at Fini: "Lei e un cialtrone" (You are a scoundrel).

The Northern League, the junior partner in former premier Silvio Berlusconi's conservative government is opposed to many of the measures contained in the package, including higher value added tax, a new levy on first homes and pension reforms.

By resorting to the confidence vote, Monti's government is seeking to speed up the approval of the measures since the vote forces legislators to choose whether to accept the package as it is or send the government home.

-- SPA 16:05 LOCAL TIME 13:05 GMT

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Publication:Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
Date:Dec 15, 2011
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