ITALY – Italians took to the streets of Rome on Saturday in protest at the government’s pension reform plans – though the government says the action will complicate matters.

According to media reports the three main labour unions led hundreds of thousands to register their protest against pension reforms.

“Demonstrating is lawful, given we are a democratic country,” technology minister Lucio Stanca was quoted as saying by the prime minister’s official news service.

“But I don’t think that this will help us negotiate calmly. Therefore, in the end, it just serves to make things more complicated rather than simplify them.”

He added the government was “very open to keeping the talks with the trade unions going”.

Massimo Paci, of the Scientific Advisory Board of the social policy thinktank IRPPS has queried whether the planned reform will result in later retirement.

“We can say that while the acceleration of the ‘Dini reform’ will undoubtedly result in the reduction of the pension expenditure, the effects regarding incentives to the postponement of the retirement age are less certain,” Paci writes in the latest “demotrends” report from the
Istituto di Ricerche sulla Popolazione e le Politiche Sociale.

“The decision to retire from work is, in fact, linked to a series of factors at the level of the single worker (for example, the physical and mental health status, the educational level, the degree of vocational obsolescence of the job qualification, etc) which can prevent the continuation of work even with heavy economic incentives.”