Economy / History of Italy / Politics

A speed date with Renzi

In the Italian politics there was a custom called “concertazione” (“consensus proceeding”). Before adopting an important act in matters of economy or labor, the Government summoned the Triad, id est the Secretaries General of the three major trade unions. The Triad was greeted in the Green Hall of Chigi Palace by the Prime Minister in person and then a consensus was found on the new measures, often at the end of excruciating negotiations.

Yesterday morning, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi staged what looked like a parody of the old ritual. The Triad – much weakened by the impact of globalization – was greeted by Mr Renzi in the Green Hall, but was simply informed of what the Government is going to do in a quick briefing lasting just one hour.

At the end Mrs Susanna Camusso, the Secretary General of CGIL – once a wing of the Italian Communist Party whose heir is Mr Renzi’s Democratic Party – was predictably unsatisfied. However, she was alone in defying Mr Renzi, since the leaders of other two moderate trade unions gave a more nuanced evaluation of Mr Renzi’s exposition.

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