Italy is preparing for a four-hour general strike to take place on Friday 25 November. The leading trades unions, CGIL, CISL, UIL, Faisa and Ugl have called the strike in protest at the governments budget for 2006, which they want redrafted as it does not benefit the average Italian.

Public offices will be closed all day. Schools plan to close for one hour, but as most schools are unable to guarantee normal lessons, many children will stay at home for the day.

Trains and ferries belonging to the state railways, will strike 09.00-13.00 and airlines 12.00-16.00; Public transport in Rome including buses, filobuses, trams, and the metro will not be running 09.30-13.30. Post Offices will be closed all day and banks are expected to close for four hours in the morning. Recovery services on the motorways will strike Emergency hospital services will be guaranteed.