Eurozone Live Blog
Prime Minister Mario Monti on Wednesday asked Italy's political parties to swiftly approve his contested labour reform.
Prime Minister Mario Monti on Wednesday asked Italy's political parties to swiftly approve his contested labour reform so that it is law by the time he attends a crucial European Union summit in Brussels on June 28.
The legislation, which proposes easing firing restrictions, discouraging the use of temporary contracts and handing out unemployment benefits to more people, is still being reviewed by parliament three months after it was presented by the cabinet.
It has been criticised by trade unions who fear a rise in lay-offs, by employers concerned by higher labour costs, and by many economists who say it would make only marginal changes to a rigid labour market that needs a major shake-up.
"The government has asked parliament to accelerate its examination of the labour market reform ... so that the European Council on June 28 can take note of the passage of this important structural reform," Monti said in a statement.