Italy proceeds with controversial TFR reform

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Under pressure from the European Union to reduce its public deficit, the Italian government has moved to transfer so-called 'severance pay' provisions from larger firms to the state. Government estimates suggest that this could add as much as EUR6 billion (0.4% of GDP) to public coffers, which would help the country reduce its public deficit under the EU's limit of 3% of GDP. But rating agencies remain unimpressed, and say that, in the long-term, the EUR6 billion pool of money will represent