Sunday, January 30, 2011

Strikes and demonstrations

Italy is not just concerned with the prime minister's sex life. On Friday there were demonstrations across the country with the CGIL in particular preparing the ground for their battle with Fiat over the new contract that Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne signed with the other unions last year.
This is certainly not anything like a full scale revolution - both the labour movement and the centre left parties are seriously divided over what position to take - but the rising unemployment and decreasing purchasing power mean that most Italians are less well off today than they were a year ago or two years ago. But there is not a critical mass big enough to affect government policy yet.
Here was my own tuppenny ha'penny worth of comment.
It is interesting that the only real innovation and movement towards free market liberalism has come from Marchionne and not from either Tremonti or Berlusconi both of whom affect a great admiration for the Thatcher and Reagan reforms of the Eighties.

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