ROME - The Italian government has approved measures worth 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) to create jobs, especially for youths, while delaying by three months a planned increase in value added tax.
Premier Enrico Letta said Wednesday the jobs measures included nearly 800 billion euros in funds aimed at creating 200,000 jobs for youth between 18 and 29 over the next 18 months, particularly in the south. The measures include incentives for hiring workers on long-term contracts.
Ministers delayed until Oct. 1 an increase in value added tax from 21 per cent to 22 per cent, which was strongly opposed by the centre-right.
The Cabinet also approved measures aimed at easing jail overcrowding by limiting jails to those who have exhausted all appeals and shaving 45 days from sentences for inmates with good behaviour.