//
you're reading...
Italy, Labour market reform

Monti, Italy and jobs for life

Italian premier Mario Monti hasn’t been in the job long, but is already the new darling of the European elite. So much so that some political pundits have dropped ‘Merkozy’ – the Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy duo – for the ‘Merkonti’ trio.

Certainly, his economists’ training and measured, articulate manner, contrasts favourably with his much lampooned predecessor Silvio Berlusconi. And he’s made headlines with his austere budgetary policies and deregulating zeal in high debt and supposedly over-protected Italy. After the disasters of Berlusconi’s rule, Monti had maintained a pretty shiny image in Italy too.

That was until his gaffe last week, making light of the misery of millions on the end of Italy’s economic crisis, particularly the youth, 29% of whom are out of work, when they are not eking out a precarious living. Monti said it was simply ‘monotonous’ to have a ‘job for life’. The response from the left was instant.

The Professor, as the Rector of Milan’s prestigious Bocconi University is known, should come out of his ‘ivory tower’, and by the way, was it ‘monotonous’ to have that (second job) as ‘life Senator’? Mockery aside, unions are furious with his plans to give more ‘freedoms’ to bosses to hire and fire. This is supposed to lead to more jobs, but as the unions point out, Italy’s problem is not the supply of labour, but demand.

Household spending has been depressed for a decade as wages are low and rises have been gobbled up in Europe’s inflation capital. Previous labour reforms have created a 2.4 million strong army of workers on short term contracts and this has made an already conservative bunch of consumers even more cautious, or otherwise unable to spend because they can’t get credit from equally conservative banks. Meanwhile exports have suffered from a Single Currency that overvalues them and Germany’s beggar-thy -neighbour wage competition. Public spending cuts have added to the woes.

Monti’s already a hate figure for lorry drivers, farmers, taxi drivers, pharmacists and notaries who have been protesting in recent weeks against his pro-market cuts agenda. Still, if things don’t work out as pm, there’s always that boring old job for life…

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or email revolting.europe@gmail.com

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Twitter Updates

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

DATA

Anti-social Europe in numbers

WAGES SLIDE

Key facts and figures on wages across the EU

Wealth Inequality in Europe

Get the key facts and figures

RADICAL VOICES

A different take on European issues

Italy’s Healthcare Crisis

Health services are ‘close to collapse’ in Rome, Turin and Naples after years of cuts and privatisation.

NO TO WATER PRIVATISATION

99% of the 167 000 Madrilenos who signed a petition rejected the sell off local water company

Filthy Rich

France's Bernard Arnault of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) empire is worth $41 billion. Check out Europe's rich list

SANTA DRAGHI’S COMING

Private banks receive half-trillion-euro gift from ECB

POPULAR FIGHTBACK

Workers and citizens stand up for themselves

FLORENCE’S BUS LUMACA

Workers are on a go-slow over privatisation

Massive Spanish protest

Half a million take to the streets over labour market deregulation

FRENCH FACTORY OCCUPATION

Hundreds of workers occupied the factory of ArcelorMittal in Florange in the north of France

International Workers Day

International Workers Day 2012

RSS Hate Crimes in Europe

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

in Italy the home is a very dangerous place to be

LABOUR RIGHTS

Workers down tools over PM Monti's attack on labour rights

FORTRESS EUROPE

Concentration camps and a massive migrant marine cemetery

Archives

Subjects

EUROPE NEEDS A CITIZENS’ REVOLUTION

Read the statement by Lafontaine and Melenchon

PM Rajoy One Year On

Spaniards are not impressed

FRANCE

GERMANY

GREECE

ITALY

PORTUGAL

SPAIN

THE EURO

The Dossier