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On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week

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On the agenda: What’s happening in Italy this week
Ground staff at Italy's airports have planned a walkout on Friday. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP.

From the start of the new school year to disruption for airline passengers, here’s what to expect in Italy this week.



Government to meet over budget

Italian PM Giorgia Meloni will meet with cabinet ministers on Monday to start drafting Italy’s budget law for next year.

The PM is expected to make cuts after saying last week that resources are scarce and the country will need more than just a “simple spending review” to square the books in 2024.

The government will need some 30 billion euros to cover public spending in 2024 but available funds only amount to 6-7 billion according to the latest media reports.

As Italy is expected to face significant public spending cuts, the economy continues to falter as GDP fell by 0.4 percent in the second quarter of 2023 and investments dropped by 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Meloni presents her government's draft Budget for 2023 at a press conference on November 22, 2022. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP.


School starts 

Children in the Bolzano province, northern Italy, will be the first to return to school this year as they’re expected back at their desks on Tuesday, September 5th.

Children in the rest of the country will all follow suit at various points over the next 10 days.

Here is this year’s return date calendar by region:

  • September 5th: Bolzano province
  • September 11th: Aosta Valley, Trentino, Piedmont
  • September 12th: Lombardy
  • September 13th: Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Umbria, Abruzzo, Marche, Campania, Basilicata, Sicily
  • September 14th: Liguria, Molise, Calabria, Puglia, Sardinia
  • September 15th: Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio

READ ALSO: Back to school in Italy: how much will it cost, and how can you save money? 


Train strike in Lombardy

Staff at Trenord, which operates regional trains in the northern Lombardy region, will strike from 3am on Wednesday, September 6th to 2am on Thursday, September 7th for a total of 23 hours.


Trenord said in a statement that all regional services, including airport links, may be subject to “changes and/or cancellations” but a range of minimum services will be guaranteed to operate from 6am to 9am, and from 6pm to 9pm.

The walkout will not affect services run by nationwide companies Italo and Trenitalia.

READ ALSO: CALENDAR: The transport strikes to expect in Italy in September 2023

Staff of the Trenord railway company are set to strike for 23 hours on Wednesday. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP.

Mantua Literary Festival

Festivaletteratura, one of Italy's longest-running and most celebrated literary festivals, will return to Mantua on Wednesday, September 6th.

Founded in 1997, the five-day event will feature a long list of readings, guided tours, concerts and performances.

READ ALSO: 11 events to look forward to in Italy in September 2023

Most talks will be in Italian, but there will also be some English-language events; this year's program, for example, has Nobel Prize-winning author Olga Tokarczuk and American humorist David Sedaris in attendance.

The festival will take place in buildings around Mantua's historic centre, giving attendees the perfect chance to explore the UNESCO World Heritage-recognised city.



Nationwide airport ground staff strike

Passengers can expect some delays and disruption on Friday, September 8th, as ground staff at Italian airports are set to take part in a 24-hour walkout.

There are few details available as to how many airport workers will take part in the strike, but so far unions have confirmed that it will involve baggage handlers represented by FLAI.

Staff from Alha, a cargo-handling agent operating at Milan’s Malpensa Airport, will hold a separate 24-hour protest on the same day, and baggage handling staff at Verona’s Catullo Airport will strike from 1pm to 5pm.


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