Monti confident on talks

ITALIAN prime minister Mario Monti faces an arduous task this week to reconcile the demands of unions and employers and draft a labour reform aimed at boosting Italy’s competitiveness and shielding it from the Eurozone debt crisis.

With a self-imposed deadline to get a deal by the end of this week the signs are not promising, with the largest trade union saying an accord at a key meeting tomorrow is “impossible,” and the biggest employers’ lobby warning it will not sign any document that concedes too much to the unions.

Yesterday, Monti played down the tensions, saying he still believed a deal could be struck at the meeting he will host.

“If the positions weren’t still quite far apart it would mean the conclusive meeting had already taken place successfully,” he said at a ceremony in Turin.