06 Gennaio 2003
In December 2002, the management of Fiat and the Italian government reached a 'programme agreement' on the reorganisation of the company's troubled automobile division. The trade unions have sharply criticised the deal and taken industrial action in protest, since they believe that the impact on employment is excessive and that the guarantees provided for the company's revival are insufficient.
28 Settembre 2002
During September 2002, the Italian social partners and political parties conducted a wide-ranging debate on the government's economic policy. The measures drawn up by the centre-right government to fight inflation and address the deteriorating public finances have been criticised by the social partners, which are demanding a clear intervention to foster economic growth. The Cisl and Uil trade union confederations, in particular, have stressed the need for full implementation of the recent 'Pact for Italy'. The Cgil union confederation has expressed strong criticisms of government's policy and called a general strike for 18 October.
28 Settembre 2002
July 2002 saw the approval of a set of labour market projects drawn up jointly by the government of Italy's Lombardy region, the regional social partners and other local organisations, under a 'Pact for the development of the economy, work, quality and social cohesion in Lombardy' signed in September 2001. The projects include the provision of services to workers employed on non-standard contracts, support for immigrant workers, initiatives to improve the labour market situation of women, and initiatives to increase workplace health and safety.
10 Luglio 2002
In May 2002, an important agreement was reached by company management and trade unions on the Telecom Italia group's 2002-4 industrial plan. The deal covers key issues, such as employment levels and a new mix of occupations and skills in the group - to be accomplished through a combination of departures and new recruitment - guidelines for investments and development, and continuing education and training policies. The agreement also confirms the participatory system of industrial relations introduced in the group in 2000.
22 Maggio 2002
In May 2002, an agreement to foster employment was signed in Milan by the municipal authorities, trade unions and employers' organisations. This 'pact for employment and growth' follows an 'employment pact' signed in February 2000, which caused a split in the union ranks, as Cgil refused to sign it. The new pact has been signed by all the three main union confederations, including Cgil, and sets up a comprehensive framework for social concertation at local level.
20 Marzo 2002
The main political event during 2001 was the general election, held on 13 May. The centre-right coalition, the House of Freedom (Casa delle LibertÃ ) - made up of Forza Italia, the National Alliance (Alleanza Nazionale), the Northern League (Lega Nord), the Christian Democratic Centre (Centro Cristiano Democratico, CCD) and the United Christian Democrats (Cristiani Democratici Uniti, CDU) - won a large parliamentary majority. It obtained 366 seats out of 630 in the lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, and 177 out of 315 in the upper house, the Senate. It thus formed a new government in June 2001, replacing the former centre-left administration. Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of Forza Italia, became Prime Minister.
27 Dicembre 2000
Local elections were held in 15 regions on 16 April 2000. The coalition of centre-right parties claimed a success, winning a majority in eight regions, including all those regions in the north of Italy which were involved in the elections. The centre-left coalition which forms the national government won in the remaining seven regions. The success of the centre-right coalition was significant in terms of the number of votes won. The local elections had important implications at national level – Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema resigned following the defeat of the centre-left coalition. At the beginning of May 2000, a new government came into power, still supported by a centre-left coalition - including the Democratic Left (Democratici di Sinistra, Ds), the Italian People's Party (Partito Popolare Italiano, Ppi), the Democrats (Democratici), the Democratic Union for Europe (Unione Democratici per l'Europa, Udeur) the Party of Italian Communists (Partito dei Comunisti Italiani, PdCI), the Greens (Verdi), Italian Renovation (Rinnovamento Italiano, RI) and the Italian Democratic Socialists (Socialisti Democratici Italiani, Sdi). The new Prime Minister is Giuliano Amato.
27 Maggio 2000
Two referenda on individual dismissals and on the collection of trade union fees, held on 21 May 2000, failed because only slightly more than 30% of the Italian electorate went to the polls, while a turn-out of more than 50% was needed to make them valid. The same result emerged for the other five referenda, which concerned electoral law, the public funding of political parties and the judicial system.
27 Marzo 2000
In March 2000, Italy's main employers' association, Confindustria, appointed a new president, Antonio D'Amato. This is the first time that an entrepreneur from the south of Italy, not supported by the major Italian companies, has become Confindustria president. Mr D'Amato defeated the current vice-president of Confindustria, Carlo Callieri.
27 Marzo 2000
In February 2000, an "employment pact" for Milan was signed, following long negotiations aimed at gaining the consent of the Cgil trade union confederation, after its refusal to sign a preliminary agreement in July 1999. These efforts proved fruitless and eventually only the Cisl and Uil confederations (along with two independent unions) signed the pact on the union side, while Cgil continued its harsh criticism, since it believes the pact is detrimental to workers' rights.