Destinations Magazine

Italy’s Economy: Renzi Redux

By Stizzard
Italy’s economy: Renzi redux

MATTEO RENZI’s Italy is a bewildering place. Slogans change; priorities shift; established orthodoxy can be overturned in an instant. The latest change came on September 16th, when the prime minister set out a programme for his government until May 2017. The centrepiece is reform to relax restrictive hiring-and-firing rules in the labor market. This was so urgent, he declared, that the government would introduce it by decree if parliament raised objections: “We cannot lose another second.” Yet just two weeks ago, presenting his agenda to the media on September 2nd, there had been no stress on employment reform. And a new website detailing the programme did not even mention it.Mr Renzi’s latest rallying cries are “One thousand days” and “Step by step”. The gradualist approach they imply is a departure from the blitzkrieg he promised when he wrested the premiership from his Democratic Party colleague, Enrico Letta, in February. Then, the catchphrase was “One reform a month”. The aim was to transform Italy through a new electoral law along with sweeping changes to the jobs market, public administration and the tax system.Instead, Mr Renzi’s biggest…

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