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Italians in uproar over consumer price hikes

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Italians in uproar over consumer price hikes


‘Work more, earn less’ may be the mantra for many Italians this year with the country facing a new level of economic hardship.

Tough austerity measures are kicking in which will mean a rise in petrol prices, as well as in sales and property taxes along with lower monthly pensions.

A survey by Conferescenti-Swg said 48 percent of Italians had a negative outlook about the situation compared to 33 percent in 2010, while 36 percent expected the impact on their families to worsen in 2012.

Prime Minister Mario Monti has laid out a 33-billion-euro belt-tightening package to get Italy’s 1.8 trillion euros of debt under control.

Part of the stimulus measures include allowing shops to open and close as they want. But critics argue the move, designed to boost spending, will only help large firms with the personnel to cover more shifts while smaller businesses will lose their ability to compete.

Italy’s biggest metalworkers union has already announced a limited walkout for next week.

Other unions have warned of more strike action with an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 jobs expected to be lost this year.

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