Labour G8: a Global Social Pact Proposal for the G20 and the La Maddalena Summit

Welfare Minister Sacconi and Prime Minister Berlusconi at the Social Summit press conference

31/03/2009

In preparation for the London G20 and the La Maddalena G8, Italy would propose a Global Social Pact, “a global pact capable of replacing pessimism with optimism and disheartenment with confidence and turning fear into hope,” Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said, speaking at the press conference winding up the Labour G8 in Rome.

Concurring with the overall Labour Ministers’ Meeting line, the prime minister said that “governments must take care of people first of all; they must help people who lose their jobs and maintain social cohesion.” Another point endorsed by the prime minister in the Labour G8’s conclusions was confidence in the future, to be restored by adopting targeted economic and social policies. The prime minister went on to repeat his rejection of protectionist policies, which “do damage” to the economy, particularly in countries that were major exporters, like Italy.

Berlusconi then referred to the crisis’s impact in terms of unemployment, saying that “a state that has the social market economy as its philosophy cannot ignore workers’ welfare.” “It is our intention to leave no one by the wayside as we emerge from the crisis,” Berlusconi explained. “We will seek to keep workforce and employer in contact so that any redundancy will be merely temporary".

Also speaking at the press conference, Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi highlighted the major success in terms of attendance scored by the Social Summit, “which has set out clear-cut recommendations for the G8 and the G20.” Sacconi stressed the importance of the consultations with all the social players, which had resulted in “a full-fledged social summit, the first since the crisis on the finance markets.” “There was a need to send out a joint message to the effect that all our policies are directed at people,” Sacconi went on. He then confirmed the need for governments to press for social sustainability to be incorporated into the economic sustainability parameters and for a full-fledged social pact “capable of rebuilding a circle of confidence” to be arrived at before the G8.