Italy moves to adopt balanced budget amendment to constitution

From the Financial Times:

The measures included a plan to amend the constitution to make a balanced budget mandatory, a second constitutional change that would force “closed professions” to liberalise services, a speeding up of welfare reforms, and other structural reforms designed to boost Italy’s stagnant economy. . . .

The German government has already firmly dismissed a proposal from José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, for an increase in the size of the €440bn European financial stability facility – the eurozone rescue fund. Philipp Rösler, the German economy minister and vice-chancellor, described the proposal as “ill-timed”. . . .

Promising to bail out countries is exactly the wrong solution. It creates no incentive to control spending in countries facing financial problems.

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