Monti acknowledges damage done by austerity and calls for resilience


Italy’s social fabric is being torn by recession and tensions are growing among its citizens, prime minister Mario Monti said yesterday. Speaking to students in the central Italian town of Arezzo, Mr Monti urged Italians to stick together and “not give up” in the face of a shrinking economy and rising unemployment.

Mr Monti’s government has imposed austerity since taking office last year. In recent days, ministers have responded to calls from politicians and the media to show more compassion for ordinary Italians.

“The country is now marked by profound social tensions,” he said. “It’s inevitable that social unease is increasing, that job insecurity fuels a sense of suffering, that there are serious signs of tears in social cohesion.” – (Reuters)