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Italy Protests but Hopes Remain High

Heading in a better direction?

The reforms proposed by Italy’s Matteo Renzi government are generating strikes and protests in Italy. In particular, the Jobs Act employment law reform is creating much consternation within Italy’s unions.

Last Friday, during a transport strike, violent scuffles broke out between protesters and police in Milan, Pisa and Padua. Traffic was halted in Genoa and Naples by demonstrators.

The news in Italy is carrying more and more items on protests and outbreaks of unrest such as the anti-immigrant disturbance which broke out in a suburb of Rome. Tension in Italy is high and further protests are likely. Those who have been taking part in the protests, according to Italy’s press, are the jobless, workers with temporary contracts, and students.

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While Italy’s prime minister Renzi has been attempting to assure everyone that the reform policy being pursued by his government will help Italy recover from its economic woes, some remain unconvinced that the measures being proposed and slowly implemented will work. Indeed, some fear the situation may worsen. Confidence in Italy’s political leaders is not at all high. A recent Demos poll published showed that the approval rating of Italy’s Prime Minister Renzi slid a full ten points between October and November.

The same poll also indicated that just over 70% of Italians believe that the the number of jobless will fall in the next 12 months and that Italy’s economic situation will improve.

Attempts to reform Italy were likely to have been an uphill struggle and that struggle does appear to have started.

A general strike has been called by Italy largest trades union, the CGIL, for December 5th.

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