Govt investing in Italy's future - Renzi

Premier announces teacher recruitment, plugs Rome 2024 bid

 (ANSA) - Rome, January 21 - Premier Matteo Renzi said Thursday the government is investing in Italy's future by recruiting almost 64,000 new teachers to start work in September. Renzi said a new competitive recruitment exam for 63,712 teaching positions is "linked to the quality of the women and men (in our) schools - our most precious asset, because we entrust our children to them." He stressed the importance of "the maximum, maximum demand for quality from all points of view". The government's education reforms will end an unhealthy dependence on substitute teachers that Renzi has dubbed 'substitute-itis'. His comments came cabinet approved 11 enabling decrees to its civil service reform of the country's notoriously unwieldy public administration approved by parliament last year. The reform cuts red tape for investments and reduces the number of inefficient, bloated publicly-held companies, among other measures.
    The enabling decrees included an overhaul of Italy's port authorities and the incorporation of the state forestry corps into the Carabinieri military police corps.
    Another sea change is that civil service managers are to be fired if employees under their direction are found skiving off work, Renzi said. "Until now there was no obligation to fire the manager," he said. The measure complements another provision introducing stricter disciplinary measures for civil servants accused of absenteeism in response to recent high-profile cases. Earlier this month, nine civil service employees in Bologna were sentenced to 14 months in prison for defrauding the State after being found to have engaged in chronic absenteeism, with colleagues punching each other in then going shopping or to the gym.
    Also on Thursday, Renzi met with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach at the IOC's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, to show his support for Rome's bid to host the 2024 Olympics. "What counts for us is to win," Renzi said as he shook Bach's hand. "I'm excited". The Rome 2024 bid committee on Thursday presented a survey to the IOC which suggests that three out of four Italians are in favour of Rome hosting the Games. The support was based primarily on the job opportunities the Olympics would generate and hopes that it would lead to better infrastructure and services in the capital, the Ipsos survey said.