Italian Parliament set for confidence vote on new govt in 1st crucial test before reforms

ROME – Italy’s new cross-party government faces its first crucial test with a vote of confidence in the lower house a day after a lone gunman shot two police officers outside the prime minister’s office.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s new government is under pressure to draft economic and social reforms, including measures to get Italians back to work.

The lower house of Parliament votes later Monday to confirm the government, followed by the Senate on Tuesday.

Italy’s stock market was trading up 1.5 per cent while the country’s borrowing costs on its 10-year bonds dropped below 4 per cent for the first time since 2010 as markets expressed confidence in the new government.

A lawyer for the gunman who shot the officers on Sunday described his client as desperate because of the economic situation.