In Italy, thousands of workers in the public sector, railways and local transport went on strike yesterday in protest against the budget law approved by the post-fascist government headed by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. “Melonie, people are hungry,” read one banner raised during a rally in Piazza del Popolo in central Rome. There were also protests in other cities such as Genoa and Milan.
The strike was called by two of the country’s three major unions, CGIL and UIL. In addition to local and long-distance transportation, there were also strikes in schools, hospitals and the post office. Taxi drivers also abandoned their cars.
The protests target the government’s draft budget for next year. The unions accuse Meloni that the planned tax cuts are electoral gifts through which the Prime Minister wants to attract votes before the European elections in 2024 – at the expense of pensions and important areas such as education and health.
Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who also serves as transport minister, sparked additional anger from unions by halving the allowed duration of the strike from eight to four hours in an attempt to ease the railway’s problems. CGIL president Maurizio Landini accused him of “assaulting the right to strike.”
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