PM Monti targets pensions and labour markets in new crisis plan
Italy’s new Prime Minister Mario Monti is to target pensions and overhaul the labour market as part of his plan to tackle the county’s financial crisis. He said both had “unjustified privileges” for certain sectors.
In his first speech to parliament, Monti underlined the future of the euro depended on what Italy will do over the next few weeks and stressed the Eurozone could not survive the collapse of the monetary union.
Monti’s speech came as thousands of students throughout the country protested budget cuts in the public education system with the biggest turnout in the Scicilian city of Palermo.
Some 5,000 students marched through the streets of the city shouting “we are not commodities to be used at the hands of politicians and bankers”.
Meanwhile, thousands of people demonstrated in the Greek capital Athens against the austerity measures demanded by the new coalition government of Lucas Papademos.
The march on 17 November each year commemorates a student uprising in 1973 that helped remove a US-backed army dictatorship and brought back the republic.
Some 7,000 police, including riot officers, were mobilised in the capital to protect state buildings that are regularly targeted during protests.
And Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is set to present a spending plan to the new parliament on Thursday before it is submitted to parliament for debate.
Thursday's developments in eurozone crisis
- Rome, Italy - Prime Minister Mario Monti unveils economic crisis plan.
- Milan, Italy - the Italian Banking Association, ABI, says it will back a 'Bond Day' when Italians can but Italy's debt commission-free.
- Paris, France - The government raises 6.976 billion euros in new two and five-year bonds, but pays sharply higher yields.
- Madrid, Spain - Borrowing costs rise to a eurozone-record three days before general elections.
- Athens, Greece - Demonstrations across Athens against austerity measures while the government seeks a way for creditor banks to take losses on Greek debt.
- Washington, US - Ratings agency Fitch says US banks could be hard hit if the eurozone crisis expands.
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