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Italian unions demand action on jobs

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By Philip Andrew Churm
Italian unions demand action on jobs

Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered on the streets of Rome on Saturday to support Italian trade unions who are demanding respect from the government and firm policies on economic growth.

Demonstrators are urging the country's coalition government to encourage massive public and private investment to secure more jobs.

Leader of the CISL union, Annamaria Furlan said: "Many sacrifices that we have made over the past few years, could completely disapper. But we still have time.

"The Government must stop, must call on social partners, to reverse the negative course our country is taking and we must look to the future, the future of work.”

Other political and union leaders also put emphasis on employment.  Member of Parliament from the Democratic and Progressive Movement Party, Roberto Speranza, was among them.

“Our country risks taking a step backwards," he said.  "It is very worrying that we had two trimesters in a row with a poor economic performance. Welfare is not enough, so we need to put employment centre-stage and I believe that today’s message is exactly that: first of all jobs are an absolute priority."

The government of the far-right League Party and anti-establishment 50-Star Movement have been criticised for not being ambitious enough with its planned reforms.

Twelve trains, hundreds of buses and many low-cost flights were laid on to help union members get to the protest.