ITALY - Discussions on pensions between the government and the social partners have stalled following the unions' objection to a proposal to raise the retirement age for women.
Meetings between the government and representatives of three unions began a few days ago, but screeched to halt after the social partners’ strong reaction to increasing women’s retirement age.
“Nothing has been finalised since issues still need to be discussed,” said a spokesman for the Italian Work Union (Union Italiana del Lavoro - UIL).
Reports claimed that president Romano Prodi (pictured) had agreed with the social partners’ suggestion to bring the pension reforms forward, after they were put off to 2008 by Silvio Berlusconi’s government.
The UIL neither confirmed nor denied this claim, but suggested that the media may be aiming to provoke a reaction for some revelation on the pensions issue.
“It is somewhat premature to declare anything as concrete when it comes to the pension reforms, especially since there is no fixed date for the discussions to be reopened,” said the UIL spokesman.
He added that it may be quite some time before the debate resumes, since the period when all the union hold their annual conference is imminent.
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