ITALY – An Italian minister has said the government wants “open dialogue” with the unions on pension reform.

“We want open dialogue with the unions, however we can also decided on our own,” EU policy minister Rocco Buttiglione was quoted as saying by the official news service of the prime minister’s office.

He was also quoted as saying that January 30 was the deadline for “closing the chapter” on pension reform. He added that it was unlikely that pension reform would lead to a vote of confidence. “If we can avoid this we will do it,” he was quoted as saying.

Industry minister Antonio Marzano said the government was awaiting the unions’ input. “We are expecting proposals from the unions,” Marzano said. “The door is open to proposals, not to denials.”

Last week labour, health and welfare minister, Roberto Maroni, rejected a call from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for speedier pension reform, saying the government has already put forward the best pension reform proposals.