Italian Parliament, Rome, Dec. 29, 2015: Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s slight relaxation of labor market restrictions has brought modest results so far (source: dpa)

Renzi’s tinkering with jobs shows a changed mood in Europe

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promised to turn Italy inside out, jump-start economic growth and reduce unemployment. But during almost two years in office, he has introduced only one significant economic reform, the so-called “Jobs Act.” The outcome has been mixed, and certainly below expectations. This does not mean Mr. Renzi is on the wrong track.

<i>Two lessons can be drawn from Prime Minister Renzi’s jobs package, which was designed to make hiring young workers cheaper and firing unneeded ones easier. The first is that it will take much more than fine-tuning to shake up Europe’s rigid labor markets and reduce unemployment, especially among the young. Reforms ...

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Professor Enrico Colombatto
Mr. Renzi’s experiment is not important for its modest results so far. It is significant because it has shown that public opinion in Italy, and perhaps in other countries, now considers deregulation of the labor market unavoidable
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