Italy is considering financial incentives for purchases of cars and domestic appliances, its industry minister Claudio Scajola said.

The centre-right government is evaluating the moves "to restart the auto market, halted in all of Europe, and that of white goods," he told Reuters.

European leaders said recently the continent must be ready to follow the United States in backing national car industries.

Italy had tax incentives in place until the start of 2008 to replace old cars with less-polluting models, Reuters noted.

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