TEHRAN, May 1, YJC - Italian labor unions marked Labor Day by holding demonstrations and demanding the government to do more in tackling the country's staggering unemployment, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Monday.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
Italian trade union confederations chose the Sicilian town of Portella della Ginestra for holding the national Labor Day event. The town was chosen to commemorate the May 1, 1947 massacre of almost a dozen May Day celebration revelers at the hands of Sicilian separatist leader Salvatore Giuliano's men.
"Unless government investments resume, any talk about youth having job opportunities would be a lie," Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL) General Secretary Susanna Camusso said at the event.
Italy's jobless rate peaked at around 13 percent in 2015 before declining to around 11.5 percent this year but stayed among Europe's highest. Youth unemployment dropped from nearly 45 percent to under 40 percent in the same period, placing it fourth in the world after South Africa, Greece and Spain, according to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella gave a speech at the Quirinal Palace, recalling the deadly events that took place 70 years ago in Portella della Ginestra.
"Labor Day, which was stained with blood in Portella della Ginestra 70 years ago, is a celebration of the Republic," he said.
The president also addressed Italy's unemployment situation, stating that it remains a chief concern but that the economy had finally started emerging from recession with the number of those in employment on the rise.
"Our society cannot live with the fact that youth unemployment remains at such a high level. We all should feel the need to do more," Mattarella said.
The populist opposition Five Star Movement used the occasion to attack both the ruling parties and the trade unions over their role in upholding the current unjust economic system.
"Every year we mark the celebration with a sense of bitterness. As the world sinks into a huge systemic crisis, which is impacting the global mode of production, in Italy only the ruling Democratic Party, the banks and the main trade unions, which are unable to see the coming end of the this economic model and the impending social upheavals, are celebrating," the party said in its Labor Day statement.