Italians have been asked to accept even greater austerity measures as their government strives to control inflation.
Italians have been asked to accept even greater austerity measures as their government strives to control inflation. On Friday night (8 October) petrol prices went up by 25 per cent. Public holidays have also been drastically reduced.
SYNOPSIS: The price increases were effective from midnight on Friday. They came a week after a nation-wide television broadcast by Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti warning people that the government would introduce a package of drastic measures to tackle the country's grave economic problems.
People buying petrol on Saturday (9 October) were faced with having to pay 500 instead of 400 lira per litre for their petrol. That's the equivalent of GBP 1.64 pounds sterling a gallon. However, the price for diesel oil has been lowered by 16.7 per cent. Compulsory car insurance rates will go up by 15 per cent, and yearly car license fees are to be increased as well. Signor Andreotti has also approved a bill abolishing five religious public holidays, and two secular ones have been moved to the weekend. This means an extra seven working days a year to increase national productivity. However, workers will still be paid for these holidays -- though they will only be able to take them all at once as part of their regular annual holidays.