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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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