Italy's Letta congratulates Obama on budget deal

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Associated Press

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 10:33 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is getting some encouragement from a world leader who is no stranger to economic crisis.

Obama met Thursday in the Oval Office with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, just hours after the U.S. government fully reopened following a 16-day partial shutdown.

The shutdown took effect when Obama and Congress couldn't agree on spending levels. Lawmakers also had threatened to send the country into economic default.

But an agreement passed late Wednesday by Congress and signed by Obama reopened the government through mid-January and pushed the default deadline into February.

Italy's economy is in dire straits, and Letta is trying to turn it around.

Letta says he congratulated Obama on "yesterday's success" and says it is very important for the stability of world markets.

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