Carl Bildt hopes Italy will continue with austerity

Sweden's foreign minister says that Italy must continue with spending cuts and says that the current political stalemate is a barrier to further measures.

Italy's recent election produced no clear winner. "It would have been easier if one or the other bloc had won a clear majority" says minister Carl Bildt to Swedish Radio. He predicts that there will be a drawn-out series of negotiations, before a government can emerge.

Carl Bild says that comedian and political outsider Beppe Grillo, who took around 25 percent of the votes, must also get involved in political compromises.

But the minister says that the most important thing fir Italy, and for Europe is that the reforms carried out by the previous prime minister, Mario Monti, continue. "Even if the situation is difficult now, it is better than it was 15 months ago." Mario Monti's austerity policies were unpopular in Italy and Monti's party won around 10 percent of the vote.