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Monti Wins Confidence Vote In Italy's Lower House

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti during the reading of his government's program in parliament on November 18.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's government has won a confidence vote in the lower house of parliament, a day after the former EU commissioner presented radical reforms to tackle the debt crisis.

Monti's government of technocrats won by an overwhelming majority -- 556 out of the 617 deputies in attendance -- after an equally big win in the Senate on November 17.

Monti on November 17 outlined his program of reforms to boost the country's economic growth and cut its huge public debt, saying its austerity measures would be balanced by "growth and equity."

Thousands of students marched in cities across Italy to protest against planned spending cuts, with scuffles between demonstrators and police reported in several cities.

compiled from agency reports