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Italy targets education to shrink debt

Demonstrators march at a mass rally in Rome in protest of the government

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: As I said, the U.S. government has already lent a hand to banks, and it's not alone. Major European Union countries have put price tags on their bailout packages. All except Italy. The Italian government is only making money available to banks on a "per need" basis. As Megan Williams reports, that is not sitting well with the country's teachers and students.


Megan Williams: Italy's national debt is more than 100 percent of the country's GDP. That's way above limits imposed by the European Union. As the Italian government moves to bail out its banks, it also has to shrink its debt.

Italy wants to do this by cutting education spending. If it gets its way, 15 percent of teachers' jobs and $10 billion a year will be sliced from schools.

Protesting Italians -- more than 2 million of them this week in Rome -- are asking why the government has set no limits to bank bailouts, and yet is cutting education. They'll be asking that same question again later this week during a national school strike.

I'm Megan Williams for Marketplace.

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