The Maroni Law

The law on precarious workers should be re-labeled with the name of its true owner. That is Roberto Maroni. For the love of truth, the law on precarious work should be called the “Maroni Law” after the Minister of Labour at that time.
Professor Mauro Gallegati shows us the effects of the Maroni and explains to us that there’s no work in Italy. In fact, when there is work, precarious work does not exist and there’s no need for any law.

Dear Beppe,
I would like to offer to the readers of the blog, certain reflections about things that have been read and spoken in the last month in Piazza Maggiore that would have been an insult to Marco Biagi. About unemployment that hardly exists any longer, about flexibility that “creates” work that doesn’t exist.
Let us start by recognizing that there is a distinct difference between Biagi’s “white paper” about employment and law number 30 (that is not Marco Biagi’s law, but rather it is Maroni’s). Biagi’s “white paper” proposed combining flexibility with social re-balancing and a rewriting of the system of social safety nets.
Biagi specifically pointed out 2 matters of social injustice: Intergenerational equity and the different procedures for protecting employed and unemployed people. Basically it pointed out the disadvantage of being young and unemployed (if then you are a woman living in the South…). He wrote: “the structure of the Italian social spending shows a marked emphasis on pensions and a low level of unemployment benefits as well as the social security in favour of those people of working age.” That is: we are spending too little in social safety nets and too much on pensions. And again: in Italy “among the people looking for work there is a high percentage of people looking for their first job, who are not covered by the insurance systems dealing with unemployment”, and that is because “the removal of protection of existing relationships has made it less urgent to supply help for the risk of unemployment and at the same time, producing a big gap between those who are in employment and those who are unemployed. This has restricted the group of potential beneficiaries from accessing unemployment benefits that do in fact exist.” We tend to ignore the importance of the unemployment benefits because these would be useful above all to those who have lost a real job, while in Italy the biggest number of unemployed are those still looking for a job or who are in transit between one precarious position and another.
If someone wanted to call law number 30 the “Biagi law” it is they who are insulting the memory of Marco Biagi, not those who are campaigning against the existence of precarious work. The experience of industrialized countries shows that flexibility does not create work ( and that without social security flexibility only creates precariousness.
Has law 30 worked? It is often said that after the reform of the labour market, employment figures have increased by 2 million. But the laws on flexibility have produced what economists call the dilution of work: the same quantity of work shared out among more workers as it is basically obvious if 2 precarious workers do the work of one regular worker, but cost a lot less. ISTAT {National statistics body} says that the unemployment rate has been halved between 1997 and today (6.2%). The problem is that a reading of that data must be taken together with data on the number of those who have been discouraged and on the units of work. Taking account of these elements, unemployment is sailing along at well above 10%. ISTAT tells us that in the first quarter of 2007, there were about 1,600,000 unemployed in Italy. Two ISFOL researchers, Mandrone and Massarelli (, people who habitually provide numbers that they have reflected on, say that 1 in 4 of the precarious Italian workers is unemployed, or slightly less than half of those without work is a precarious worker. Do we need other data to get worried? Well then just think that when a precarious worker is unemployed, no one is paying the contributions for that miserable pension that he’ll find himself with in a few years and at least 1 million precarious workers in the last 10 years have been working with contributions that will provide a pension below the minimum. Just think that the annual net income of a “permanent” worker is on average 15 thousand € whereas that of a “precarious” worker is 10 thousand €. And then: the 12% of those employed are non typical (but among the young people the percentage goes up to more than 40%) and this figure is due to rise because every year the relationship between “new” precarious workers and those precarious workers that have found stability (that is who have become workers with no time limits) is a factor of 2 to 1. It seems small, but we are already at more than 3 times more than the other workers, and many of these are graduates).
The introduction of atypical work in the forms set out by law number 30, has in fact widened the range of alternatives available to private business in making use of labour: it has broadened the amount of discretion available to the entrepreneur in employing the work force while nothing has budged to protect the rights of the worker? It is possible (necessary?) to bring in social reforms that provide guarantees for the precarious workers. But the true problem is that here there is no work: a country that was considering bringing in customs duties to tackle the competition from Chinese merchandise, not understanding that innovation is the terrain on which to compete and a country that continues to not spend on research, is so short-sighted that the decline that is in view is not inescapable, but probably deserved. Warm greetings.” Mauro Gallegati.

PS. According to one of the main economists of last century, Schumpeter, the Italian school of economics at the end of the nineteenth century, was second to none in the whole world. Two of its main protagonists, Pantaleoni and Pareto, corresponded frequently. Reading it: “well according to you in Italy are the electors or the elected the worst?” Reply: “What a question!”. It’s like asking which pongs the most between shit or ‘merde’” V-Day instead says that we don’t want to die neither as pong-sufferers nor as pong-producers!” Mauro Gallegati

PS Download and distribute the book: "Schiavi Moderni". We have reached 370,000 copies downloaded!

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:00 AM in | Comments (9)
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In response to Jim Schlumpberger:
I do agree with Jim up to a certain extent.
However, the remarks made by that Italian guy are somehow out of fashion in most of modern Italian companies. We do now appreciate much more (at least in the north of Italy) where the job comes from, and I am sure most of Americans are aware of may success stories of the Italian economy in the automotive sector, fashion, food, interior products and designer products in general.
We do not expect things for free, and we are prepared to work hard to get them but please leave our mums out of the discussion.
Unfortunately, unlikely US, we do not have, and never had, huge natural resources to relay on.
We did not have slave labour, at least since Roman time, and we have not pursued an imperialistic foreign policy.
And this is not the usual communist rant about American imperialism.
American economy is strong, the strongest, because it has always profited from a dominant market position often obtained by war. Million of people are employed in the war machine, from active combat role to support and production. Then there is reconstruction and supply of new goods to newly created markets. This is nothing new. Britain did it before and Rome did it a couple of thousands years ago.
Unfortunately, this has required America to go to war every 10 years or so. WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War (and proxy wars), Gulf 1, Gulf 2, Gulf 3, Korea 2…(I am not supposed to say that am I?)
Italy does not follow (cannot) this policy and this is one of the reasons why our companies will never be strong enough and employment level will never be good enough.
But hey this is Italy. Take it or leave it. I decided to leave and I have settled in UK. Looking back at Italy I have mixed feeling but I have learned that it is difficult to judge without a clear and complete understanding. We have well over 2500 years of history that have shaped our consciences in a very peculiar way. I whish it was just a matter of taking responsibilities.

Posted by: Andrea Ceccanti | October 10, 2007 01:59 PM

Yes, let us all remember our brothers and sisters in Burma and I have seen many banners on balconies and in the streets here supporting freedom and democracy there but what about Cuba, a well know tourist destination for many Italians. Why not there? Why is there no voice calling for an end to the rule of Castro as there is for the Generals in Burma.

but here in Italy, where are the posters and protesters for freedom in Cuba....

Posted by: carol venturoli | September 30, 2007 09:40 PM

Dearest Beppe,
At long last, someone with the courage to stand up and talk from the heart! If only the rest of Italy had the balls to do so.
I'm British, married to an Italian but living outside the EU and when I come here each year, I feel saddened to see the same old faces giving the same old spiel to the people when we all know they should have been thrown out years ago. Time to adopt the system where the people elect who they want to govern..
God bless and long may you continue

Posted by: Carol Venturoli | September 30, 2007 09:17 PM

It is interesting to watch Italy sink further into the abyss while its people cry for some sort of reforms.

Like a bunch of teenagers yelling "give me, give me, give me".

Oh, oh, American perspective coming...

I remember once while on a visit to Italy being lectured by an Italian. He said that in America "you are not really free". Something about...If you can be fired for your job at anytime, that is not freedom. He went on to explain that he couldn't be fired and how great that was. Even when the business he was working for wasn't doing so well he was let go but the company had to keep paying his wage. I believe it was 1/2 of his wage even though he wasn't doing anything at all. How wonderful. They had to pay everyone's wages. Then he talked about how terrible things were in the country and that he lost his job? WHat? How could you lose your job if you can't be fired ? I asked.

Well the company went out of business. The looters - moochers - (employees) had essentially sucked the company dry and there was no more company anymore. No company, no jobs. Congratulations. He sure showed that evil business person. He showed that evil company how terrible they were by making the company pay even when the money wasn't coming in.

(Does anyone wonder why no one wants to try a new business in Italy?)

With Freedom comes RESPONSIBILITY. You can't be handed everything like you receive from your mamma. But that is exactly what the Italians want. They want mamma to take care of them. They don't want to be adults. They don't want to accept responsibility for themselves or the companies they work for.

No risk taking, no appreciation for where jobs actually come from.

The mentality in Italy is to punish those that can succeed and produce and reward those that refuse to do so.

Posted by: Jim Schlumpberger | September 28, 2007 11:19 AM

Good morning Beppe,

I support you. I love this Italian style of political protest.
But please: nobody is living from politics alone.
integrate all cultural expressions like music, dance, theatre, religion, philosophy, sports and much more.
Therefore see my short contribution about East & West. An hommage to my brothers of Burma.


Posted by: Christian Thomas Kohl | September 28, 2007 11:10 AM

Good morning Beppe,

I support you. I love this Italian style of political protest.
But please: nobody is living from politics alone.
integrate all cultural expressions like music, dance, theatre, religion, philosophy, sports and much more.
Therefore see my short contribution about East & West. An hommage to my brothers of Burma.


Posted by: Christian Thomas Kohl | September 28, 2007 11:08 AM

Good morning Beppe,

I support you. I love this Italian style of political protest.
But please: nobody is living from politics alone.
integrate all cultural expressions like music, dance, theatre, religion, philosophy, sports and much more.
Therefore see my short contribution about East & West. An hommage to my brothers of Burma.


Posted by: Christian Thomas Kohl | September 28, 2007 11:07 AM

A me sembra che si faccia un gran parlare di troppe cose e non si capisca il vero senso di tutto questo che e`: L'AUSPICABILE RISVEGLIO DELLE COSCIENZE!!!! E poco importa chi e` contro chi e chi e` pro chi o se i MARONI ce li dobbamo far venire noi che da anni siamo bombardati di scemenze abissali e non muoviamo una foglia. Il popolo italano medio e` di un'idiozia e di una dabbenaggine iperbolica e sempre ha preferito la raccomandazione all'indignazione, la frode all'onesta`, il mal costume alla rettitudine. Ora e` venuto il momento se non altro di "lavarsi i panni in casa" e cercare di far cambiare direzione ad una marea di mmmm..da (perdonate il francesismo)che da anni serpeggia in ogni strato sociale.
Io personalmente sorrido da New York pensando a quanti aspettano che "papa` Pantalone" un giorno sistemi le cose per loro. Troppi furbetti del quartierino in Italia e troppi quartierini da mantenere da pochi lavoratori indefessi con ancora un briciolo di correttezza personale e professionale.
Mandate a lavorare i vostri figli cari genitori ed insegnate loro la parola SACRIFICIO, come un tempo i nostri nonni conoscevano (gran bella gente quella) e poi ESIGETELA dai vostri rappresentanti dipendenti al Governo che di governare non sanno se non le loro finanze, non certo la spesa pubblica!!!!!!!!!!!!!!bye have a nice time

Posted by: elvy brevi | September 28, 2007 03:25 AM

While the STORM "B. GRILLO", IN SOUTHERN EUROPE, is refusing to vanish, stirring and creating havoc, and panic for those people in government who are screwing the people!........i'am talking about the Italian, first,...and also the north-american people! WAOW!

Posted by: V.Annibale | September 28, 2007 02:58 AM

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