24 Billion Euro Austerity Package Italy Joins Europe's Wave of Belt-Tightening

The Italian government has joined a European movement to slash public spending -- to the surprise of many Italians. Until recently, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had promised to avoid big budget cuts. But the euro must be defended, say Italian officials.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has made an about-face on austerity measures.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has made an about-face on austerity measures.

Foto: Ettore Ferrari/ dpa
msm -- with wire reports