Italy: Transport strike kicks off to protest government
last update: June 22, 10:17
Rome 22 June , (AKI) - Italy is expected to be snarled in traffic on Friday as transport workers go on strike to protest government reforms designed to cut debt and balance the budget.
Subways, trains, buses and ferries will be idled by the 24-hour walk out in the through out the country, with an exception of the northern Emilia Romagna where a pair of earthquakes last month killed 27 people and left thousands homeless.
Large transport-worker demonstrations organised for Rome and Milan should create further difficulties for vehicles to circulate in Italy's two largest cities.
Prime minister Mario Monti and his team of un-elected non-political ministers have boosted taxes, cut spending and aim to make it easier workers to be fired, all in an effort to cut Italy's 1.95 trillion euros in debt and create a more dynamic economy.
The country is in recession, with the value of its economic output shrinking three consecutive quarters. A rebound isn't expected anytime soon. In the meantime, businesses are closing and others are shedding workers, pushing the national jobless rate to more than 10 percent - its highest level in 12 years.
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