There has been an angry reaction to news of Italy’s planned austerity measures. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wants to slash the country’s budget deficit by 24 billion euros over the next two years.
Local government spending and public sector pay and pensions are expected to be hit hard. There will also be a recruitment freeze and a clampdown on tax avoidance.
Berlusconi has a comfortable majority in parliament, meaning there is little risk of the measures not being approved. But Italy’s largest trade union, the CGIL, has already attacked the plans and says it is considering national strike action.