Renzi calls for two-year benefits for jobless

Renzi calls for two-year benefits for jobless
Matteo Renzi has called for benefits to be guaranteed for the first two years of unemployment. Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP
Matteo Renzi, the new leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, has called for unemployment benefits to be guaranteed for two years.

“I think of the greater flexibility in output, but the state must guarantee benefits for the first two years of unemployment, so that people can maintain a family and a serious system of professional development,” Renzi said in a TV interview on Sunday.

The Democratic Party (PD) leader said a “labour revolution is possible”, adding that the party’s full employment plan would be announced in January.

Renzi was confirmed as party leader just a week ago but has already been shaking up the PD, bringing in a team of young politicians and discussing controversial issues such as civil partnerships for gay couples.

SEE ALSO: Renzi confirmed as Italy's new centre-left leader

His comments on employment come as Italy faces a growing jobs crisis, particularly among the under 25-year-olds. Figures released at the end of November showed that youth unemployment hit 41.2 percent, a record high, while an overall 12.5 percent of Italians are out of work.

SEE ALSO: Italy's youth jobless hits record high

Prime Minister Enrico Letta, a PD politician leading a coalition government with the centre-right, is struggling to boost job creation while keeping Italy’s deficit within EU limits.

The country’s 2014 budget includes measures to encourage businesses to hire staff, as well as a new unemployment benefits scheme, but has been criticized by business lobby Confindustria for failing to stimulate growth.

SEE ALSO: Italy adopts 2014 budget to tackle social crisis

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