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Early retirement

ITALY. A mass exodus of teachers taking early retirement is likely to leave 25,000 posts vacant in September, despite pleas to teachers by education minister Luigi Berlinguer inviting them to reconsider their decisions. Fearing possible cuts in pension rights if they stayed on, this year five times the usual number of teachers applied for early retirement.

The government now has to decide whether to recruit new teachers through the Concorso (competitive exam) - the last one was six years ago - or to regularise the position of thousands of supply teachers by offering them permanent posts.

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