Tens of thousands of Italians took to the streets during a general daylong strike against the government’s latest austerity measures.
In addition to the cancellation of all flights, trains, and buses, the strike caused government offices to be shut down, sending the city into disarray. The Italian government has revised the 45 billion euro austerity package that spawned the strike, and though they have removed and changed some measures, they have added more to it.
The most recent amendments to the plan are a revised sales and wealth tax. Other controversial cost-cutting measures are a constitutional requirement to balance the budget and a change to the retirement age.
The austerity package was not drafted into legislation until this past August, when it was hastily drawn up at the behest of the European Central Bank. Which means that millions of Italians are returning from their August summer holidays unsure of their personal and national economic future.
Italy’s largest federal union, CGIL, organized the strike and is calling for stronger action against tax dodgers and continuing job protection. CGIL also expressed outrage over a clause that will make it significantly easier to dismiss workers.
Smaller unions deemed the strike needless and irresponsible stating that there is “no point in striking against employers when everyone’s job is at risk.”
It is expected that the Italian government will put the bill to a vote of confidence, a common technique for ensuring the passage of controversial measures in the country.
Read more at BBC News.