Italian unions announce general strike over Berlusconi budget

Italy’s three main unions have called a four-hour general strike for November 25 to protest against the 2006 budget proposal of Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s government.

Italy’s three main unions have called a four-hour general strike for November 25 to protest against the 2006 budget proposal of Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s government.

The strike was announced after a meeting late yesterday of the CGIL, CISL and UIL labour confederations, which together embrace 11.2 million members.

The budget, which must be approved by parliament before the end of the year, includes some €20bn in spending cuts and revenue-raising measures which aim to keep Italy’s deficit in check.

Among the proposed measures are €2bn of cuts in the social security costs that companies pay on their workforce.

Strikes have in recent years hit Italian industrial production, which is struggling to emerge from a prolonged recession.

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