Italy’s technocratic cabinet on Friday decided to forego speedy implementation of labor market reforms in the face of resistance from trade unions and left-wing members of parliament.
The reform measures, which should make it easier for companies to fire workers and lift restrictions on a number of professions, will be submitted as a regular draft bill to parliament which means it could take months to implement. Had the government opted for an emergency decree procedure, it could have made the changes law within sixty days.
The retreat is a setback for Prime Minister Mario Monti who had so far managed to enact austerity and pension reform measures with broad parliamentary consent. The former European commissioner who was tasked to lead Italy in November of last year has run into stronger resistance over labor reforms which opponents say could trigger a wave of layoffs. Read more “Left Wing, Unions Stall Italian Labor Reforms”