Thursday, August 11, 2011

Italy unions protest austerity plan

Source: Press TV

Italian trade unionists have protested against the government's planned austerity measures amid budget talks between Premier Silvio Berlusconi and trade union representatives.

Trade unions in Italy expressed their worries that the government's tougher economic measures might heavily cut down on pensions, salaries and social welfare services.

“We don't want to pay for this crisis. It must be paid for by those who caused it, the banks and this government that aims to privatize everything,” Vincenzo Buttigilieri, a trade union representative, told Press TV on Wednesday.

This comes as Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and senior cabinet members have held budget talks with representatives from trade unions and the Employers Association.

The government has introduced a 68-billion-dollar austerity package aimed at tackling the country's financial crisis.

Italy has been under mounting pressure from EU leaders to contain its widening budget shortfall.

Italian trade unions have threatened to stage a general strike should the government go ahead with its planned austerity measures.

Berlusconi, however, says urgent actions are needed in order to shield Italy from the risk of a debt crisis currently looming over Europe.

Reports indicate that Milan Stock Exchange closed with heavy losses on Wednesday as the main FTSE Mib stock index was sharply down 6.65 percent to 14,676 points, the lowest since March 2009.

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