Strike paralyses Italy

Life in Italy was crippled on Friday as millions of Italians went on strike to protest against government plans for pension reforms.

    Italians are protesting plans to raise the retirement age

    Trains, planes, schools and even opera houses were hit, as were hospitals which operated with only skeletal staff to deal with emergencies.

    Italy's top three unions urged their 11 million members to join some 100 demonstrations across the country.

    Reports said that some 200,000 demonstrators marched through Italy's business capital Milan to voice their opposition to the planned reforms.

    "There are more than 200,000 of us," Giogio Roilo, an official of Italy's biggest union, the CGIL, told a rally in central Milan.

    Reforms

    Like France and Germany, Italy is trying to reform its pensions system which swallows about 15% of gross domestic product.

    The government wants to prevent Italians retiring before they have made 40 years of contributions or reached a minimum age of 65 for men and 60 for women, whereas at the moment one can retire at 57 if one has paid into the system for 35 years.

    But a poll published in left-leaning daily La Repubblica said six out of 10 Italians were against raising the retirement age.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.