Threat to cut school heating 'surreal' says Italian govt

Monti's office slams suggested extension of holidays for savings

Threat to cut school heating 'surreal' says Italian govt

Rome, November 9 - the Italian government on Friday said a threat to turn off the heating in schools across the country in protest against funding cuts was "beyond reality", according to a statement released by Premier Mario Monti's office. The government also criticised the proposal of considering longer vacations in the name of "hypothetical savings". Italy's provincial government association (UPI) on Thursday said it was considering the action, which would effectively force students to stay at home, adding that the initiative "stems from protests against the 500 million euros of cuts" contained in a recent government spending review. UPI President Antonio Saitta explained the provinces - which provide certain public education services on behalf of the central government - could also suspend maintenance work on school buildings for the same reason. "Decisions such as these need to be fully explained to students and their parents," said the UPI president on Thursday. UPI had already warned in July that the opening of the new school year after the summer vacation was at risk due to lack of funds. The government spending review aims to save 26 billion euro over the next three years by making broad cuts in the public administration, health, education and defence sectors, among other areas.

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