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Bersani Tells Italy Newsstands to Drop Election Strike

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Pier Luigi Bersani, the Italian premier candidate backed by the country’s biggest labor union, told retail sellers of newspapers and magazines to call off plans to strike during the Feb. 24-25 general election.

“Even if I know and recognize the problems raised by kiosk operators, I’m appealing to them to put off the strike,” Bersani said today in a statement e-mailed by the office of his Democratic Party. “The structural and cyclical editorial crisis, and in general the entire information industry chain, must be at the center of attention for the next government.”

Bersani is seeking to keep newspapers in the hands of voters as they go to the polls. Three unions, including SNAG-Confcommercio, are planning a three-day strike starting Feb. 24 to protest business conditions they say led to cuts of 10,000 kiosks and 20,000 jobs in the industry in recent years.

“It’s clear that this problem will be confronted,” said Bersani. “I would therefore suggest reflecting on the strategy of holding a protest in days that are so important for the life of this country.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in Rome at afrye@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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