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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
People stand near a Christmas tree at Piazza Duomo, on December 11, 2023 in Milan. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP.

From multiple strike actions to Christmas preparations, here's what to expect in Italy this week.



Healthcare workers strike

Some 25,000 scheduled surgeries are estimated to be delayed as doctors, veterinarians and other medical workers in Italy strike on Monday against measures contained in the government's draft 2024 budget law.

Unions say the maintenance of a cap on hiring new workers and the underfunding of the health sector are among the issues being protested. Emergency services will continue to be staffed as usual.

Warm spell

Parts of Italy are due to be hit by a 'thermal swing' of unseasonably warm weather on Monday, after a brief cold spell with snow and rain in the centre-south over the weekend.

Temperatures in some areas of the country, including the Alps, are forecast to reach 10C above the seasonal average.

READ ALSO: Why more of Italy's 2026 Winter Olympics could be held abroad

A spell of warm weather could raise temperates in the Italian Alps 10C above the seasonal average. Photo by Franck FIFE / AFP.


Winter solstice

The shortest day of the year falls on Friday, with the moment of solstice itself - that is, the moment when the North Pole reaches its maximum tilt away from the sun - falling at 4.27am in Italy.

Tourism workers strike

Another industry-wide strike is scheduled for Friday, this time in Italy's tourism and leisure sectors.

Three unions have called workers in hotels, spas, restaurants, travel agencies and related companies to participate in a walkout to protest delays in negotiations for a long-awaited collective bargaining agreement.

READ ALSO: Italy's constant strikes are part of the country's DNA

Workers in Italy's tourism sector are set to strike on Friday. Photo by Kate Townsend on Unsplash


Senate to vote on 2024 budget 

Italy's upper house of parliament is expected to vote on Italy's draft 2024 budget on Friday, after being presented with the text on Wednesday.

Once approved by the senate, the bill will return to the lower house for review. The final draft of the law is expected to be approved between Christmas and the new year.

READ ALSO: How will Italy's 2024 budget affect your finances?


Sunday is La Vigilia di Natale (Christmas Eve) in Italy, when many families have a traditional fish-themed dinner and exchange gifts.

Those in Rome will have free access to public transport, as part of a new scheme aimed at reducing car traffic and boosting tourism in the capital over the festive season. 


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