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Originally published Monday, May 6, 2013 at 3:23 AM

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Italy seeks pro-growth alliance with Spain

Italian Premier Enrico Letta sees Spain as a partner in the battle to reduce Europe's focus on budget austerity.

The Associated Press

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MILAN —

Italian Premier Enrico Letta sees Spain as a partner in the battle to reduce Europe's focus on budget austerity.

Letta heads to Madrid on Monday to meet with Spanish leader Mariano Rajoy, his fourth European capital since taking office eight days ago.

Ahead of the meeting, he called Spain "our ally to make Europe the continent that places more attention on growth and social discomfort."

He said his government will focus on creating economic growth without adding debt, acknowledging it will be `'very difficult."

The EU has already warned Letta's government it would need to find 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in new revenue if it revokes a property tax on first homes. Letta has announced that June payments, worth half the total, will be frozen while ministers consider options.

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