Why OMT Cannot Possibly Solve Anything; Monti Warns Italian Unions; Over 200,000 Jobs at Risk; Italy's Insane Labor Rules

Courtesy of Mish.

Amazing discrepancies in small business employment in Italy vs. the rest of the EU will go a long ways towards explaining why Mario Draghi’s OMT plan to “save the euro” cannot possibly work.

I pieced the following analysis together after reading some interesting comments on Eurointelligence in today’s Daily Morning Briefing.

Monti Warns Italian Unions

Mario Monti warned Italian labour unions during a meeting in Rome that time was running out for action, government sources told ANSA. “Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal have boosted productivity and lowered labour costs, turning around a negative trend, while Italy has not improved productivity and has increased labour costs,” Monti said. An effort for concrete results is urgently needed from talks between business leaders and unions, Monti told to the union leaders. But the biggest Italian union CGIL said “growth cannot come on backs of workers alone.” Monti reminded unions that only a few weeks remained before the eurogroup and EU summits in October. The premier called for concrete signals within a month.

Over 200,000 Jobs at Risk in Italy

Italy’s main small business association found that Italian SMEs may be cutting 172,000 jobs, the lionshare of all jobs at risk in Italy from the recession,  La Repubblica reports. Yesterday, the CGIA reiterated that idea. Italy risks having an additional 202,000 people unemployed in the second half of this year, relative to the same period in 2011, CGIA data shows. The association says the tax burden was the main problem – at over 60% for SMEs, and over 55% on average for Italian companies.

The Five Star Movement Established Itself as Italy’s Third Party

The Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) has entrenched its position as the third Italian Party, according to several polls appear on Il Fatto Quotidiano. The last poll (Ipsos) shows that the Silvio Berlusconi’s party PDL is the second one in Italy, with 21.9%. The first is PD (Partito Democratico) with 25.4%. Beppe Grillo’s Movimento 5 Stelle comes in at 17.9%. Italian analysts compare the M5S to the Greek Syriza. It is opposed to the euro, to austerity, to the ECB, and wants to regain sovereignty on monetary policy, and favours a default (Icelandic way), followed by devaluation.

Understanding SMEs

Inquiring minds (mine) had to look up the word “SMEs“. It stands for small and medium sized businesses.

Micro businesses have fewer than 10 employees, small businesses fewer than 50 employees, and medium businesses under 250 employees.

Please consider this EU SME Fact Sheet

SMEs in Italy – A Brief Fact Check



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