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Marcegaglia was 'irresponsible' says Fornero

'Be careful on messages to markets,' says welfare minister

06 April, 12:34
Marcegaglia was 'irresponsible' says Fornero (ANSA) - Rome, April 6 - Welfare Minister Elsa Fornero on Friday said outgoing employers' chief Emma Marcegaglia was "irresponsible" in branding the government's toned-down labour-market reform as "very bad". Fornero, who framed the reform with Premier Mario Monti after long talks with unions, employers and political parties, told the La Stampa daily: "You have to be responsible in the messages you send to the markets".

In a last-minute change to its bill, apparently bowing to pressure from the centre-left part of its broad coalition, the government reinstated the possibility of rehiring, and not just compensation, for workers deemed to have been unfairly dismissed for business reasons under Article 18 of the labour code.

This angered employers who, despite other changes to Article 18, believe it will still continue to be tough to shed workers in hard times.

But Fornero said: "It was very difficult to find a balance on Article 18 and the proof of the effectiveness of its modification will be seen by the reaction of the markets, the spread, and the credibility the country maintains in this process". The spread between Italian and German 10-year bonds rose by about 50 points amid the squabble over making firings easier to hopefully stoke growth. photo: Fornero
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