G8 president says welfare policies basic in dealing with economic crisis
Social welfare policies are essential in addressing the global economic crisis, Italian Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi told a Group of Eight (G8) meeting in Rome on Monday, Xinhua reported.
Sacconi said welfare policies could serve as a catalyst to end the global economic crisis. Such policies "can act as the motor for (economic) recovery because the task is restoring people's faith in the future".
He said this could be accomplished by helping society's weakest groups: the unemployed, women, young people hard to find job and older workers being marginalized.
"The main priority is guaranteeing the unemployed to get income," he said at the labor and social policy ministers' meeting with the theme of "People First", which also includes ministers from the Group of Five (G5),namely Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, and Egypt as well.
But aside from providing unemployment insurance, it is important to address other fundamental needs such as health and education, he said.
Sacconi also expressed concern over the increasing crisis and urged international organizations to play their part by fostering an optimist outlook. When providing projections on the future they should also report on the possible positive outcome of the crisis, he said.
"No international organization was able to prevent, forecast or deal with the crisis, said Sacconi. "We've seen plenty of forecasts but no one provided a timely warning and I'm referring to international organizations,research centers and rating agencies."
"This must no longer happen. We need useful instruments to prevent and forecast crises," the minister said.
Italy hosts the social ministerial meeting in its capacity as G8 president this year.
Representatives attending the meeting include those from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The G8 comprises Italy, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Canada, the United States and Russia.