Milan protests as EU leaders arrive for job conference (VIDEO)
Unemployment has become one of the biggest problems in Europe, especially in Southern Europe. Italy is the third largest eurozone economy and youth unemployment is especially acute – about 44.2 percent according to the latest figures.
The government has decided to alter some parts of labor law concerning job protection measures, and has caused indignation among the unions.
"Jobs have been eroded throughout Europe and we're here to push for a new system that supports workers," said Fabrizio Portaluri, a union delegate who works at tire maker Pirelli's plant in Bollate near Milan. "The governments have to start to listen to what people are saying," he said.
Hundreds of people took part in the protests against the government plans. Some of protesters wore masks and threw flares at the police but there were no evidences of extreme violence.
The day of the vote on the changes to the labor law in the Parliament coincides with the European Youth Employment conference in Milan. The Italian PM Matteo Renzi will meet French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders. The conference is only three hours long and no concrete measures are expected from it.
"We are very unsure about this summit. What we don't want is good words and no action," the head of the umbrella group of European trade unions, Bernadette Segol, said Monday at a pan-European meeting in Rome.
France and Italy say the current EU budget is insufficient and can “strangle” the European economy, although Germany rejects the idea and recommends more effective structural reforms.
These ideas are very unpopular in Italy, that’s why people protested against Angela Merkel’s visit as they believe Germany is only making the economic situation worse.