In November, Italians protested against austerity cuts. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti today announced an official plan for such austerity measures.
In November, Italians protested against austerity cuts. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti today announced an official plan for such austerity measures. - 

Steve Chiotakis: It's a big week for eurozone countries. French and German leaders meet today to hammer out details of a plan they'll present to the world on Friday to help save the euro. Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti goes to his parliament today, seeking big cuts and measures to boost growth. Italy's borrowing costs have surged to unsustainable levels. The austerity package includes $27 billion of spending cuts and tax hikes.

Claudio Lodici is a professor with Loyola University Chicago and he's with us from Rome. Hi professor.

Claudio Lodici: Hi there, how are you doing?

Chiotakis: I'm doing well. Are these cuts -- these austerity measures -- enough, do you think, to save Italy?

Lodici: It's probably too early to say. It's not not a comprehensive growth package; it mainly focuses on cuts and increasing revenues.

Chiotakis: How are Italians reacting to these measures? I mean, we saw the Greeks, of course, getting upset about cuts in their country. A lot of the cuts will certainly affect everyday working Italians too.

Lodici: Probably yes. Nevertheless, I am under the impression that the Italians are ready to work along the lines this executive is setting over these days. For instance, the news today is pretty positive. If they feel that the pressure is being relieved, then they may be willing to take another step forward, then listen to what Prime Minister Monti's telling them.

Chiotakis: Do you think they understand how dire the situation is in Italy, and that borrowing costs are enormously high right now?

Lodici: They start understanding that things are really dire, yes. And they probably realized after three years, while former Prime Minister Berlusconi was telling them that everything was all right, that Italy's on the brink.

Chiotakis: Professor Claudio Lodici with the Loyola University Chicago Rome Center in Rome. Thank you sir.

Lodici: It was my pleasure. Have a good day.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.