Economic reforms approved by Italy's Senate

Economic reforms approved by Italy's Senate

ROME - Agence France-Presse
Economic reforms approved by Italys Senate

The Senate is seen during a voting session in Rome November 11, 2011. REUTERS Photo

Italy's Senate gave its initial approval to a package of key economic reforms aimed at staving off bankruptcy including state asset sell-offs and a liberalisation of local services.

The reforms given initial approval by the Italian Senate on Friday cover most of the promises which Italy made to its European partners at a summit last month to get its finances in order.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has set final parliamentary approval of the measures -- expected on Saturday -- as a precondition for his resignation.

The main measure missing in the package is a promise to reform rigid labour laws to ease firings -- a proposal that sparked trade union fury. Remaining measures come in a wide range that varies from sale of state assets to liberalizations of professions.