|Students march during a protest in Rome on September 28, 2012 against the government plans on financial cuts and spending review (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)|
Hundreds of Italians gathered for a general strike staged by two of the nation’s largest labor unions, protesting recent harsh austerity measures. The walkout came days after thousands hit the streets of Athens and Madrid for similar protests. Throngs of protesters – ranging from university professors, public administration and health employees, and garbage collectors – took to the streets of Italy on Friday as part of a strike organized by the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL) and the Italian Union of Labor (UIL). "Stop hitting the weakest. We have already given enough," the unions wrote on their websites.
The demonstrators railed against the austerity measures enacted in August by Prime Minister Mario Monti. Italy will make further cuts this year totaling 4.5 billion euros in an attempt to balance the country’s budget deficit. An estimated 26 billion euros in spending cuts are planned for the next three years, with 10.9 billion in cuts next year and 11.7 billion in 2014. The measures adopted in August include cutbacks in public sector payrolls and investment, and cuts in state healthcare. Salary increases for state workers were also frozen for two years. Unemployment in Italy has soared, reaching 10.7 percent in July – the country’s highest rate in the last eight years.
20.09, 17:004 comments
Europe appears headed for a deepening economic recession, as its economy contracted faster in September than any month since June 2009. A closely watched survey found that’s despite easing of market concerns over the three-year debt crisis.Eurozone crisis