Hugs And Unfair Dismissals: Howard Meets With Berlusconi

John Howard has met with the Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, as part of his European trip.

Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of ItalyThe two men discussed Industrial Relations reform, prompting a question to Howard about whether he would consider a three-year trial of the unfair dismissal laws legislation his government has before the Parliament. The legislation provides for the abolition of unfair dismissal laws as they apply to small businesses employing fewer than 50 people. Howard gave guarded support to the idea and is quoted as saying: “Three years, very interesting time!” [Read more…]


Howard Talks Up Globalisation To Italian Business Leaders

As the Prime Minister, John Howard, wraps up his visits to Greece and Italy, he has promoted the benefits of globalisation to an audience of Italian politicians and business leaders at a lunch in Rome.

HowardThe speech differed little from the speeches Howard has given in a number of places over the past ten days. He attributed a strong Australian economy to major economic reforms over the past 15-20 years and said that the budget surplus had been reduced whilst Australia had become an “aggressive, diverse exporter”.

He said: “I am a very passionate believer in the benefits of globalisation. If you look at the balance sheet over the past 20 or 30 years, you can find examples of previously very poorly developed countries but whose condition has been transformed by them opening up their economies and thereby obtaining the benefits of globalisation.

“But I think it is fair to say that globalisation enjoys a bad press. And that is not meant to be a criticism of journalists. I think it is a recognition though that sometimes Governments and businessmen are not as good as they should be at explaining and selling and communicating the benefits of globalisation. [Read more…]