Rome

Cardinal Bagnasco calls on govt to address social problems

CEI chief says unemployment, electoral reform must be tackled

Cardinal Bagnasco calls on govt to address social problems

Rome, August 30 - Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who heads the powerful Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI), urged politicians to address the urgent social issues of boosting work possibilities and reforming the Italian electoral system which led to a two-month political stalemate after February general elections. "No political party can pull back from choices that cannot be postponed, such as the labor emergency or electoral reform, nor can it permit itself just to live day by day," he said in an interview with Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana. The Cardinal said that Italy was in a constant "overheated and demagogic climate that chooses, instead of addressing problems, the shortcut of slogans and polemic declarations". He said he saw no concrete action being taken at a time when a U-turn was needed and in a context of there being "a need for bread" amongst the population. He summed up by saying that without improved labor opportunities, there would be no justice. Bagnasco made the comments on the day Italy's national statistics office Istat announced unemployment was stuck at 12% in July for the fourth straight month, and had jumped 1.3% compared to the year-earlier month. Some 585,000 jobs were lost in the second quarter, it said.

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