A new package of measures to support businesses was being pushed through in Italy, as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi came under increasing pressure to pull the country of recession.
The package includes a reduction in energy costs for small and medium-sized companies, new regulations which allow credit funds and insurance firms to lend directly to businesses and a tax credit for firms that make new investments in machinery.
Agriculture and environment were among the areas affected by a series of minor changes included in the plan, which was approved late on Thursday night.
Business leaders criticised Renzi's decision to push through the "competitiveness decree" saying it lacked a clear long-term strategy and failed to address the real issues gripping the industry in Italy, in a week when the country announced it had fallen back into recession in the second quarter.
"We will work better and harder, but I promised to change direction, not to change the universe in three month time," said Renzi, who claimed only a "comic book superhero" could turn around the economy in a couple of months.
"Calmly, serenely, we are taking this country by the hand and pulling it out of the crisis," continued the Italian Prime Minister, who has promised to turn Italy's financial fortunes around over the next 1,000 days.
On Thursday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Italy had only itself to blame for an unfavourable environment for investment, as it had not done enough to reform its bureaucracy, judicial system and labour market.
Italy's failure to attract investors and the crisis crippling domestic businesses mean the Eurozone's third biggest economy is unlikely to register growth this year, an unexpected step back from an official forecast in April for a 0.8% increase.
"Italy needs €16bn in 2015, which will keep the ratio between loss and GDP comfortably below 3%, despite a limited growth," Renzi said on Thursday, but Italian newspaper La Repubblica suggested that analysts consider the Prime Minister's forecast overly optimistic.
"Italy will respect the rules and the agreements in place," Giovanni Legnini, Italy's economy parliamentary secretary told La Repubblica.
"Now more than ever, Europe, however, should reflect on the slowdown of the Eurozone that has characterised the European Union, including Germany.
"After the latest GDP figures there are even more reasons to ask Brussels for a change in policy," continued Legnini.
"It wouldn't be a concession to Italy but a common target EU members should aspire to, for falling back into bureaucracy and returning to a rigorous fiscal policy will only deepen the crisis."
Christian Schulz, an analyst for Berenberg, Gossler & Co said Renzi's determination should be "good news" for other economic reforms.
"Renzi is spending considerable time and political capital on a Senate reform which is not going to boost Italy's immediate growth prospects," Schulz said on Friday.
"For the longer-term, however, the Senate reform, while not a sufficient condition for more reforms, may well turn out to be a necessary one.
"A major reason why Spain is so far ahead with its economic recovery is the fact that Prime Minister Rajoy was able to force through the labour market reform in 2012, while Italy was mired in the political standstill [...] Renzi's progress should maintain business confidence in his ability to deliver, so that they may gradually start raising investment."
FTSE MIB was up 1.30% to 19,382.96 points at 13:01 on Friday.