mass strike hits italy
DrMarty | January 20, 2012 at 04:40 amby
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Truckers are blockading the five Sicilian refineries, which produce gasoline for the island but also for the mainland.
The revolt started with truck drivers, in reaction to the increase of gasoline prices decided by the Monti government, but that is just the straw that broke the camel's back.
According to Benito Livigni, oil expert, author, and a Sicilian, the revolt was expected; it is organic and will expand.
The entire Sicilian economy is on its knees because of increasing production costs and collapsing infrastructure. Southeastern Sicily has modern agricultural production of quality products, such as the "Pachino tomato" or oranges, which fresh produce cannot reach the consumer in an acceptably short time.
A truck from Pachino to Messina takes three days. Railway connections are at the same level as 100 years ago, without electrification.
Farmers are hit also by the property tax, which has increased up to five times for agricultural buildings.
Sicily has the largest fishing fleet in Europe. The Port of Mazara del Vallo has 380 deep-sea fishing boats. Neither fishermen nor truckers receive subsidies for gasoline.
Meanwhile, other sectors are hit by strikes. Taxi drivers are striking all over Italy, waiting for the government decision tomorrow on the planned "liberalization" of the sector. Taxi union leaders have met again with the government today and report that the government is open to concessions, but it will be the cabinet to decide tomorrow.
In Genoa, Sardinian steel workers joined Genoa shipyard workers in a large demonstration against layoffs. The Fincantieri shipyard has announced its closure after the completion of the current, large cruise ship. Workers have taken the ship as a hostage.
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