Italian pols bicker over belt-tightening Italian pols bicker over belt-tightening The Associated Press ROME ROME (AP) — Some of Premier Silvio Berlusconi's allies are bickering over belt-tightening just as they begin work on urgently needed spending cuts and new taxes. Berlusconi had asked Italians to show solidarity over the €45.5 billion ($67 billion) in austerity measures. But his main ally, Umberto Bossi, is balking over pension reform. Ordinary Italians are demanding the state spend less on itself, even by halving the number of lawmakers. Italy needs to convince anxious markets and European central bankers it will quickly slash debt and rejuvenate one of the euro-zone's ailing economies. Parliamentary committee members are breaking off vacations so they can begin shaping the measures Tuesday into legislation for approval in September, when the full legislature assembles. But there is squabbling over what to cut and whom to tax.