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Italy austerity measures approved

Italy's new government has approved emergency austerity and growth measures aimed at helping save the euro from collapse.

Premier Mario Monti announced approval of the measures following a three-hour cabinet meeting.

He said the goal is to "reawaken" the Italian economy.

Mr Monti said the programme include cuts and measures to fight tax evasion.

He will outline the measures on Monday to the Italian Parliament, which must approve them.

The premier spent the weekend briefing political parties, unions, business groups, consumer lobbies and others.

Originally the cabinet was scheduled to meet on Monday, but the meeting was rearranged because of the urgency of the crisis.

The head of Italy's industrial lobby said the survival of the common euro currency depends on Italy coming up with very strong austerity and growth measures - followed by an effort at the European level so that Italian sacrifices are not in vain.

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