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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Meloni faces the CGIL, does not back down on income and salary

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No steps back and no concessions. Not on basic income, cut short, nor on the minimum wage, “ineffective”.

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Meloni: ‘The minimum wage is not the solution, the income has failed’

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And even less on that tax reform that has just been approved and rejected “too hastily by some”. Starting right from his guests. Giorgia Meloni enters the CGIL congress from the main entrance, in spite of the protocol, to show even plastically that she is not afraid of “boos” or protests. Who will not arrive except in a bland way, from the CGIL minority who welcome her by intoning Bella Ciao and leaving stuffed animals in the room to remember the “State massacre of Cutro”.

Meloni at the CGIL, the reactions among the delegates: ‘The applause? only of circumstance’

Of course, not even the applause will come from an audience that listens in composed silence to the half hour of the speech with which the prime minister claims the action of her government. And it offers the promise of “unprejudiced listening.” Just what according to the union so far there hasn’t been. The prime minister takes a few timid claps only when she mentions the “unacceptable” assault on the CGIL by “extreme right-wing exponents”. But in the end she leaves “satisfied” as the first prime minister – and of a right-wing government – to present herself after 27 years at the union meeting, which tomorrow will confirm Maurizio Landini as leader for the second term. She takes the stage and waits, with an eloquent gaze, for the mini-protest to end and leaves by clearing the field of the “reconstructions” that she read “amused” about her fears in facing the CGIL arena. “I’ve been booed for thirty years, I’m a knight of merit…” he says with a certain irony before framing his presence in the wake of that “unity” that is celebrated today. Of course, he uses a language very far from that of an audience that does not digest identity references, and that talk of the country as of the “nation”. But it doesn’t make sense, following the secretary’s appeal to “ask to listen but also to listen” made from the stage before inviting the premier to speak.

Meloni takes the CGIL stage, some delegates come out singing ‘Bella, ciao’

Meloni speaks for the first time of the tax reform, fresh from approvaland, and immediately presents all the advantages that, in the government’s intentions, “employees” will have, from the flat tax on incremental incomes (such as for the self-employed) to the full deductibility of some expenses such as education and transport up to the cut in Irpef through the reduction to three rates. A recipe rejected by the union that threatened the square, but listens in silence. Only tomorrow will Landini perhaps answer, in the concluding speech of the congress. The premier stops the minimum wage – on which the oppositions are coordinating – because it could become a “substitutive protection” of national contracts which instead need to be strengthened. An argument that finds more sensitive ears, despite Landini’s overtures to setting a minimum threshold within the framework of a law on representation. It is then the turn of the citizen’s income which “failed” because it put “in the same cauldron” those who can work and those who cannot.

But work, he points out, “is not created by decree”, and it was therefore “dutiful” to cancel the income for those who can work. “What have the poor done to us? Nothing”, she assures us, “we want to get them out of that condition and the only way is to give them a job”. Half an hour left the stage, in a face to face conversation with Landini who at Palazzo Chigi they define as “frank and cordial”, between two who have known each other for some time and who have faced, away from notebooks and television cameras, “a 360 degrees” all the “current issues”. Distances remain, confirmed by both sides, but the intention to “discuss” is there. “It’s a duty to be there, never afraid of confrontation” she says at the end, leaving Rimini in the direction of Bologna, where a (private) visit of a few hours awaits her among the Cosmoprof stands, where yes, she receives handshakes and more convinced applause.

Bologna, Meloni at Cosmoprof: ‘Cosmetics piece of Italian excellence’


I thank the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for having accepted the invitation to participate in the congress, I consider it an element of respect for the important organization that we are. We want to be not spectators but protagonists of change”. So the general secretary of the CGIL, Maurizio Landini, before leaving the stage for the premier.

“I just want to say two things, we are about to experience a very important moment of this congress. We have chosen to hold an open congress and want to talk to everyone, also learning to listen. Listening is important for us and also for those who have ideas different from ours. Asking to be listened to is also asking to be listened to”, Landini pointed out.

Meloni’s presence in Rimini comes almost thirty years after the last time a prime minister took part in a CGIL congress. Romano Prodi in 1996, at the time of the Ulivo, before him Bettino Craxi in 1986 and Giovanni Spadolini in 1981. In 2010 Gianni Letta intervened on behalf of the Berlusconi government.

Prodi at the CGIL congress in 1996

The minority group within the CGIL in front of the entrance to the Palacongressi in Rimini due to the presence of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, expected later at the union meeting. They display some banners “Meloni: not in our name. Cutro: state massacre”. Many soft toys on the floor which, explains the spokeswoman Eliana Como, “we want to bring into the hall and put in the front rows in front of the stage. When Meloni speaks, we will go out in silence, perhaps singing Bella ciao”. Meanwhile they sing it in the square in front of the entrance. About forty were present at the garrison. The garrison began to break up just before 10, for the start of the work of the third day of the CGIL congress. Meloni’s speech is scheduled for 12. Some present, many delegates elected with the minority document “The roots of the union”, before entering they are taking the soft toys to take them to the hall and place them there. “But you don’t throw stuffed animals”, warns Como.

Source: Ansa

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