25.09.2022

Crisis in Italy: the difficult future of a new generation

Unlike the US, where President trump relies on the support of older Americans, more than half (53%) of Italians under the age of 35 years voted for one of the two opposition parties that triumphed in elections in March.

Such strong support explains plenty of anger aimed at the technocratic Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who called for new elections, since he used any excuse to try to stop the two parties from forming a government, before finally agreed.

Young Italians disappointed in levocetrizine system which prefers older workers, while their colleagues in Greece and Spain moved “to the left”, and 40% of Spaniards under the age of 35 years, as shown by a recent poll approve of the extremely left-wing “Podemos” and its allies. In Greece in the 2015 elections, 41% of people aged 18 to 24 years, voted for SYRIZA, which has led the left party to power, but the situation only worsened.

Young Italians, like young people in most developed Western countries, outside the EU, are convinced that they will spend a life of economic hardship and that few in their generation will be able to achieve the same standard of living attained by their parents. The number of marriages in Italy has fallen by one-fifth over the past decade, according to “Istat” (national Institute of statistics).

The share of unemployed people aged 20-34 years

Data 2016 and 2017 show that Italian men on average marry at the age of 35 and women at age 32 – two years later than in 2008 meanwhile, the birth rate in the country, which is considered the cradle of conservative Catholicism, fell to a record low.

According to Eurostat, pointing to a severe downturn in the economy, the unemployment rate among young people is alarming: almost 30% of Italians aged 20 to 34 years old do not work, do not study or undergo any training programs. It happened after the level of employment for the Italians to 40 years declined between 2007 and 2014 Is higher than in any other country outside the EU, including Greece, where youth unemployment is 29%, and is the second largest, followed by Spain with 21%.

Fortunately, the older generation is well prepared to usher in a new system and to provide a small financial support through the generous retirement benefits that are accrued to older workers. However, this helped a little to ease the anger of young people, as the number of Italians under the age of 34 years, living in severe poverty (can’t afford even basic goods and services) more than doubled after the crisis.

The crisis in southern Europe reflects the feelings of much of the Western world: the younger generation is struggling to try to surpass their parents in wealth and security. Half of the Italians who participated in an online survey on the website Monster.com said that they are confident that they will earn less than their parents.

Young people who have suffered the main blow of the prolonged recession and the fall of the economy, are still scars that will affect their career prospects, home ownership and fertility rates, for decades to come.

Perhaps the biggest problem for young people is the employment system in which people with labor contracts to have the work and access to benefits. Meanwhile, young workers are stuck in short-term contracts, typically from one month to one year that have few benefits and make it impossible to plan for the future.

The Italian government in the 90-ies. introduced these short-term contracts to help young people to enter the system. Italy has recently revised its labor laws, using tax incentives to persuade companies to use more simple contracts that allow firms to avoid a lot of hassle and costs associated with the dismissal of employees. But this policy typically does not work and the “five star Movement”, as “League”, has benefited from anger at the existing labour policy, promising to repeal the government’s reforms, while the “five star Movement” advocated for the poor and the unemployed of payment of €780 (approximately $900) per month.

“Five star movement” has lured millions of young voters with promises to repeal new labour standards, to provide the unemployed and the poor so-called universal basic income of €780 per month and cancel unpaid contracts to study. The movement’s leader, Luigi Di Maio was 26-year-old University graduate, who lived with his parents, when he was elected to Parliament in 2013, Today he is the Deputy Prime Minister.

“League” has attracted a significant portion of the youth vote, speaking for many of the same anti-government laws as a “five star Movement”, such as repeal recent labor reforms in the country and calling for the deportation of African migrants, which in recent years have overwhelmed Italy.

Economic problems of Italy and the talk about immigration has played on the feelings of the young voters during the election campaign.

The leader of the “League” Matteo Salvini, who became Deputy Prime Minister and interior Minister in the new government, promised to return hundreds of thousands of migrants to their countries. “Five star movement”, which relied on many questions, talked about the fact that immigration is illegal, but stopped to call for mass deportations.

Now, when it returned to power, the future of these eurosceptic parties will depend on whether they fulfill their promises. Implementation of reforms in the labour market, welfare and immigration is just one of the problems. Many young Italians don’t trust both the European Union and the Euro currency, although many older Italians still consider both projects as essential to maintaining the sense of European unity and lasting peace on the continent.

As “the League” and the “five star Movement”, seem dubious in the abolition of the Euro. The leader of the “League” Matteo Salvini photographed in a t-shirt saying “Basta euro” (“enough With the Euro”) to the chagrin of many voters of the older generation, which were the basis of votes. But when they are directly confronted with the decision of abandoning the Euro, some have changed their views.

The question is: will “five star Movement” and “the League” to empower voters to speak out on the exit of Italy from the European Union? The number of Italians who consider that is the EU the cause of the problems in Italy, is growing rapidly, not seeing them all the more difficult.

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