Italians demonstrate against austerity

This 8 October 2011 video is called More Italian anti-austerity protests in Rome.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

100,000 march in Rome to demand jobs programme

Sunday 19 May 2013

by Our Foreign Desk

Trade unions led a 100,000-strong march through the heart of Rome on Saturday to press the new government for measures to spur job creation.

Metalworkers’ union FIOM secretary general Maurizio Landini said that the protest was held because Italy is “going nowhere” in terms of signs of economic growth.

After weeks of political paralysis following inconclusive elections in February, Italy now has a “grand coalition” government that includes former rivals from the centre-left and centre-right blocs in Parliament.

The previous government used spending cuts and higher taxes to counter Italy’s debt, but angry Italian workers are demanding job creation measures soon.

Wielding red flags and placards, the protesters urged centre-left Prime Minister Enrico Letta to scrap austerity measures and focus on job creation.

Mr Landini taunted the leaders of Mr Letta’s supposedly left-wing Democratic Party for their absence at the demonstration, accusing them of being afraid to meet the people on the streets.

Mr Letta had promised to make jobs his top priority when he came to power in April after two months of political deadlock.

But protesters complained he was not sticking to his pledges, focusing instead on property tax reform to benefit the better off.

Union leaders said that he needed to shift away from the austerity agenda pursued by former prime minister Mario Monti, who introduced a range of spending cuts, tax rises and pension reform to shore up strained public finances.

“We need to start over with more investment. If we don’t restart with public and private investments, there will no new jobs,” said Mr Landini.

“This government needs to break away from what Monti and Berlusconi did and focus on new policies.

“I don’t know if they’ll be able to but that’s what the country needs and that’s why we are here.”

The country is experiencing its longest recession in more than 40 years with the national debt standing at about 127 per cent of annual economic output, second only to Greece.

Unemployment for young people is at about 39 per cent, while the overall jobless rate is 11.5 per cent.

See also here.

2 thoughts on “Italians demonstrate against austerity

  1. Pingback: Greek elections, international observers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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