Italy jobless at new record high in headache for Renzi

GMT 00:40 2015 Thursday ,08 January

Arab Today, arab today Italy jobless at new record high in headache for Renzi

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
Milan - AFP

Italy's unemployment rate hit a new record high in November, increasing pressure on Matteo Renzi as he struggles to implement reforms aimed at easing a downturn in the eurozone's third largest economy.
The jobless rate rose to 13.4 percent in November, up 0.2 percentage points from October, data from the national statistics institute (ISTAT) showed on Wednesday.
Youth unemployment also hit a record high, climbing to 43.9 percent, up 0.6 percentage points on a month earlier and 2.4 percentage points on a year.
The figures were just the latest bad news to hit Italy, which is battling to pull itself clear of the longest economic downturn since the Second World War.
Italy's relentless downturn is fuelling criticism of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, whose efforts to rekindle growth have led to clashes with the unions.
He was accused on the weekend of trying to push through measures it was claimed could lead to the annulment of a former premier Silvio Berlusconi's 2012 tax fraud conviction.
Renzi later said the tax law reform would be put on hold until Berlusconi, 78, has finished serving his community sentence.
But suspicions lingered that the premier was looking to favour Berlusconi in the hope of securing the billionaire's support for future reforms.
The bill presented included a measure that would ease or scrap punishment for those convicted of tax crimes where the amount in question was only a small percentage of their total taxable income.
Critics fear such a measure could see Berlusconi return to the political scene in a bid to seek protection from his other legal woes, including charges that he bribed a senator to swap sides in parliament and paid off a pimp to give false testimony about prostitutes his parties.


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