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Italian unions protest against austerity measures

Italian unions protest against austerity measures
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Unions on Friday demonstrated in the Italian capital Rome over Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s reforms to make it easier for companies to fire workers.

Susanna Camusso, the leader of the powerful CGIL union, called on her members to oppose the plans, as well as fight against a commitment to raise the retirement age to sixty-seven by twenty twenty-five.

She has refused to rule out strikes.

Parliament passed Berlusconi’s measures on Wednesday after his EU counterparts insisted he outline how he would balance Italy’s budget by 2013.

Luigi Angeletti, the leader of the moderate UIL union, said: “These plans make fun of Italians by telling them there’s a problem with pensions and labour laws. There is no such thing.”

Italy, the euro zone’s third largest economy, has a debt mountain of at least 1.8 trillion euros.