New PM wins support

THE new Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti secured a comfortable vote of confidence in his new technocrat government.

He has laid out a plan of painful reforms to dig the country out of a financial crisis.

Monti (68), who took over from discredited ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, told the Senate that the survival of the euro partly depended on Italy embarking on radical reforms within weeks.

Monti won the vote in the Senate by 281 votes to 25, with only the pro-devolution Northern League voting against him.

"The government recognises that it was formed to resolve a serious emergency," Monti said. It remains to be seen how Italians will react to sweeping reforms of welfare and pensions.