Austerity measures passed by Senate

Updated at 8:47 am on 23 December 2011

The Senate in Italy has passed a confidence vote on austerity measures planned by Prime Minister Mario Monti.

The 30 billion euro package includes spending cuts, tax rises and pension reforms. It was passed in the lower house by a large margin last week.

Although all political parties had reservations about aspects of the programme, the BBC reports the measures were passed with a comfortable 257 - 41 majority.

Mr Monti leads a government of technocrats tasked with leading Italy out of its debt crisis.

Without these measures, he says Italy would face economic disaster like that which has affected Greece.

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