INTRODUCTION: There have been widespread strikes and violence in Italy over the Government's plans to adopt anti-inflation policies.
INTRODUCTION: There have been widespread strikes and violence in Italy over the Government's plans to adopt anti-inflation policies. The protest, mainly over financial policies, comes amid recent general unrest by students and trade unionists over unemployment and extreme left-wing agitation.
SYNOPSIS: In the latest development, more than 10 million Italians have stopped work over proposals to cut inflation by more than half. The government aims to do this by restricting wage rises. Its policy is being forced by the International Monetary Fund, which is insisting that inflation be kept down to 10 per cent before a 530 million (US) dollar requested loan is granted.
The key issue dividing the government, the unions and the International Monetary Fund concerns the proposal to block individual companies who want to give rises beyond nationally agreed minimum rates. Another issue is the government's intention to remove some indirect taxes and replace them with other fiscal measures. All bill proposing both these measures is being debated in the Senate. The Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Giulio Andreotti, has insisted in Parliament that the main lines of the measures be approved. However, this appears certain to land his government, with its frail ruling minority, in some difficulty.
The strikes ranged from four to 24 hours, and further strikes were expected in Rome, where workers had not yet come out with the rest of the country's unionists. As well as protesting against the Government's proposals, the unions want more action to boost development of the impoverished south.