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Italian workers protest worsening economic situation

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Italy’s main union leaders speak to crowds outside Parliament in Rome April 16, 2013.

Thousands of Italians have protested against the deteriorating conditions for the country’s workforce, blaming the political stalemate for the worsening economic situation.

The country’s three major unions organized the rally outside Parliament on Tuesday, where workers demanded more money to a state fund for those whose jobs are suspended for a limited period of time.

Union leaders said that the country’s ongoing economic stagnation is raising the risk that many suspended workers will not receive the ‘cassa intgrazione’ payments from the fund.

The protesters demanded about 1 billion euros (USD 1.31 billion) to guarantee payments for some 700,000 idled workers until the end of the year.

Union leader told the crowd that the additional funding should be raised by reducing military spending, cutting waste or increasing taxes on financial assets.

The country’s largest union, Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), warned on Sunday that the state support for idled workers immediately needs funding or the country’s recession could worsen.

It is reported that if there will be no additional funding then there is a risk that the suspended workers will soon have no income at all, just like most of the country’s three million officially unemployed.

Tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes introduced by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government have stirred serious concerns for many people already grappling with the European country’s ailing economy.

The country’s politicians have been unable to form a government since an indecisive national election in February.

Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures, triggering protests against spending cuts in many European countries.


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  • Greta

    It is pretty obvious that the lurch toward “free market” capitalism that started during the Reagan/Thatcher era has been a disaster.

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