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EU employment chief hails Italy labor reforms

'Important objectives' says Andor

16 April, 18:10
EU employment chief hails Italy labor reforms (ANSA) - Brussels, April 16 - The European Union Employment Commissioner hailed Italy's labor-market reforms on Monday. "Their objectives are very important," said Lazslo Andor.

The endorsement is a boon to Premier Mario Monti's emergency government which is currently trying to push the reforms through parliament and make it easier for firms to fire workers.

Monti says the measures will boost growth and productivity and reduce unemployment because companies will be more inclined to hire workers if they know they can dismiss them if they need to.

Before presenting the bill to parliament earlier this month, 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. Monti apparently bowed to pressure from the centre-left part of the government's broad coalition and the change has angered employers who, despite other changes to Article 18, believe it will still continue to be tough to shed workers in hard times.