Mercoledì, 24 Ottobre 2018

Unions urge Bersani to focus on real economy


(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, March 25 - Trade union leaders on Monday
called on centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani to focus on the
real economy if he manages to form a government.
Bersani met trade unionists and business representatives as
part of talks after Italian President Giorgio Napolitano gave
him a mandate to try to form a government in his role as the
leader of the coalition that came first in last month's
inconclusive general election.
"It's necessary to stop the crisis the economy is going
through and the country's decline," said Susanna Camusso, the
head of Italy's biggest trade-union confederation, the left-wing
"So the emphasis should be put on providing answers for the
world of work.
"A government of change is needed that starts to deal with
the real economy and people's situations," she added after
meeting Bersani.
Outgoing Premier Mario Monti's emergency technocrat
administration eased concern on the international money markets
about Italy's ability to weather the eurozone crisis but his
austerity measures deepened the country's recession and pushed
unemployment up to record highs over 11%.
Camusso said she had requested that the unpopular IMU
property tax introduced by Monti be lifted for less wealthy
households - those that currently pay 1,000 euros or less in IMU
a year.
Luigi Angeletti, the head of the more moderate UIL union,
said the next government's priorities should be reducing labour
taxes, reducing the cost of Italy's political system and making
sure public sector debts to Italian businesses are paid.
"We said that it's necessary to give an important, decisive
signal on how to tackle the economic emergency," said Angeletti
after Monday's encounter.
"This takes absolute priority even over the political
crisis that the elections delivered us.
"The situation is serious, if not dramatic".
If Bersani is unable to form a government capable of
passing a confidence vote in parliament, Italy may have to
return to the polls later this year.
At the moment there appears to be a strong likelihood this
will be necessary given the current political deadlock.
Bersani has ruled out the prospect of forming a grand
coalition with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right
People of Freedom (PdL) party.
The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which holds the
balance of power in the Senate after capturing a huge protest
vote, has said it will not back a Bersani administration.
Raffaele Bonanni, the leader of the CISL union, said that
"we are strongly opposed to another election".
"It's necessary to form a government at all costs," he
added. "The situation is dramatic and the country needs an
agreement between the political parties.
"A shrewd, responsible political class must find a way to
come together".

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