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Pensioner protest, Rome. Screenshot from YouTube

The anger of Italian pensioners explode

Italy's pensioners took to the streets to protest against a maneuver that "does not give answers" to the problems concerning the country's oldest population.

Published: November 17, 2019, 7:34 am

    Rome

    “For the government we are invisible” says the unions Spi Cgil, Fnp Cisl and Uilp Uil. They pointed the finger at the government at the Circus Maximus in Rome at a national demonstration, to send a clear message to the government.

    The title of the event was: “Invisible no, we are sixteen million.” That is in fact the number of pensioners in Italy. The initiative, which follows on a similar event which was held last June in Piazza San Giovanni, touched on various issues including the revaluation of pensions, the reduction of taxes for “a more equitable tax”, and the request of a disability law.

    According to the unions, the government has forgotten about the pensioners, since the responses have been “insufficient” because the government is “incapable of giving concrete answers to the needs of the elderly”. In other words, the latest measures have been called “a hoax”, considering that the paltry revaluation is “not even 50 cents a month” included in the Budget law.

    Even after countless appeals to the executive, the demands of the unions have not been taken into consideration yet.

    The pensioners want answers, and a revaluation but not under the conditions set by the government. They were also waiting for a law on non-self-sufficiency and a fairer tax.

    The General Secretary of Spi Cgil, Ivan Pedretti, spoke at the event: “We are not invisible and we will prove it to you. We will be your thorn in your side until you understand the mistake you are making. We also ask all the parliamentarians: listen to the needs of the weakest citizens, stop listening only to the lobbies and political leaders, improve this budget maneuver. We will look closely at what you will do and what amendments you will support, so we will draw the consequences.”

    The general secretary of the FNP CISL, Gigi Bonfanti, proposed a mass general strike to make the government understand its errors on pensioners: “I propose a great general strike of workers and retirees together, on the themes that unite us.”

    The judgment of Carmelo Barbagallo, secretary of the UIL, was also harsh: “The government is not taking pensioners into proper consideration. For years, since 2011, there has not been a revaluation of pensions and pensioners are becoming poorer.”

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    • LuciusAnnaeusSeneca

      This, and other social issues, are changing Italy’s center-left political landscape. The Five-Star Movement (M5S) broad political coalition is slowly breaking down as many members who wish it to be a genuine political alternative are unhappy that M5S has teamed up with the Italian socialist left (the PD) to form the current government. If M5S fragments, its left wing, which is now driving the party in its parnership with the PD, might be all that is left of the party. And recently M5S chief Di Maio seemed to be fine with that, noting that dissidents were fine to leave M5S if they wished. Of course, the elected officials among them will be likely voting for the center-right. And others, be they party members or voters, will not support M5S in future elections.

      • Elibar

        Great analysis, your words give shape to the very complex Italian political system. Thank you.

        • LuciusAnnaeusSeneca

          Thanks, but I’m only tying to catch up with you and other contributors here on BB. There’s so much going on these days, and BB at least allows us to pool our resources at a single site.

    • uydfguiguidfsgoudysfgiusdfgus

      at least 30% of European population should be already or forthcoming pensioners
      it is not just Italy…

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