Rome

MP says assistance for 'esodati' probably won't be increased

Resources insufficient for further safeguards

MP says assistance for 'esodati' probably won't be increased

(ANSA) - Rome, July 24 - The possibility of broadening the plateau for assistance for Italians left without a job or pension by recent changes to retirement rules is "not likely," said Senator Gilberto Pichetto Fratin speaking on the sidelines of Senate meetings on Tuesday. The centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party Senator is the presenter in parliament of the government's hotly contested 26-billion-euro package of public-spending cuts. Known as the 'esodati' ('exiled ones'), Italians who fall into this category were numbered 390,000 by the pension agency INPS, although Labor Minister Elsa Fornero hotly disputes that figure. Fornero came under fire when the agency's figures, which vary greatly from original government estimates of 65,000, were published in June. Unions have long argued that "hundreds of thousands" fall under this category. The government said that it would safeguard a further 55,000 people in addition to the 65,000 it had originally planned to help following the published figures. "There are not enough resource to reach beyond the added 55,000," said Fratin.

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