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Italy's PM Monti In Talks With Union Leaders

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Italy's next step in a crisis is at the top of NPR's business news.

Italian prime minister Mario Monti is trying to restructure the economy so his country has a better shot at paying its debts. Today, he sits down to negotiate with the country's powerful trade union leaders. Monti hopes to weaken legal protections that make it almost impossible to fire employees. He blames these rules for slow economic growth and high unemployment in Italy.

Union leaders are threatening nationwide strikes, resembling the kinds of protests that accompanied economic changes in Greece. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.