What the unions want: salary increases of course
This is the second time that this leader is treating the question of
collective agreements. We can see that the unions have two languages
for one problem.
One union calls for a restraint on public expenditure and, on the other
hand, they also call for bloated salaries for their members.
The news that a union was asking for salaries of Lm14,000 plus for not
very skilled workers is down-right shocking.
And this is the great advantage of unions. They are like the legal profession
- their first commitment is to their clients, the members, fullstop.
Their members are basically motivated by one criterion, their salary.
Other peripheral considerations are very low in the list of priorities.
We have always argued that the government must withstand pressures from
the unions and not budge and we would say this irrespective of the government
A more serious consideration, however, is the fact that most of these
requests are being made to public companies or semi-public companies.
Most of these already receive sizeable subventions, which will have
to originate from direct contributions from tax-paying folk.
And no one is in any mood to fork out more for inefficient, overpaid
and under-productive workers.
This cannot go on
We are not accusing anyone of insider trading, but we are far from
pleased with the dealings and pressures associated with certain stockbrokers
and their relfection on certain share prices.
It would be a dreadful scandal if we were to carry the names
of stockbrokers who also serve as corporate stockbrokers of different
entities vying to and fro, urging investors to sell or buy - in order
to either depreciate or ameliorate on share pricing to accommodate
one client at the expense of another.
What is worse is that the stockbrokers are acting in three different
ways, they urge some investors to sell, then urge another investor to
buy and then talk in private of the long-term viability of the companies.
This continues to fortify our argument that stockbrokers have no place
as financial advisors.
We need independent financial advisors who have no strings or profits
to watch out for.
The Berlusconi victory was not celebrated in European circles. Namely
because of the links the media magnate has with the secessionist Lega
Nord led by Bossi and the far right Alleanza Nazionale led by Fini.
Berlusconi also survived despite the media attack on his dubious dealings
with the Mafia and others.
The Italian electorate were happy to support this man because they adore
his success story and his business acumen.
They also gave little or no consideration to the fact that he now effectively
owns Rai and Mediaset.
It is now Italy Incorporated and not La Repubblica Italiana. It is indeed
a sad story for democracy.