May 18 - Unions take to the streets in Rome calling for an end to austerity measures and demanding the government prioritises economic growth. Sunita Rappai reports.
Italian unions take to the streets of central Rome on Saturday to demand tougher measures to fight growing unemployment and stimulate economic growth. The euro zone's third largest economy is in its longest recession since quarterly records began in 1970. Prime Minister Enrico Letta has made reviving growth and cutting soaring youth unemployment his priorities but confidence in his government has dropped sharply, according to polls. Many felt the government wasn't doing enough to create new jobs. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) FIOM METALWORKERS UNION SECRETARY GENERAL, MAURIZIO LANDINI, SAYING: "We need to start over with more investment. If we don't boost public and private investments, there will be no new jobs." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) DEMONSTRATOR, ANNA POGGIO, SAYING: "We think the government really needs to address this issue, the issue of employment. The country really needs it as you can see here in the square today." Letta's uneasy coalition government is the outcome of two months of political stalemate, after February's general election produced no clear winner. He has to balance the priorities of his diverse coalition with pledges to keep the country's budget deficit below European Union limits.