News / Europe

Italy's Youth Blame Parents' Generation for Job Crisis

Henry Ridgwell

Italy's new Prime Minister Mario Monti says his new government will introduce incentives for companies to employ more young people. Youth unemployment in Italy is among the highest in Europe at and the lack of jobs for young people is stoking tensions between the generations.

Performing with his acapella group in Rome's jazz clubs is one of Jacopo Romei's many pastimes.

Life wasn't always so harmonious.

Jacopo struggled in early life - spending a year living on the streets of the capital. But he fought back and now runs a successful IT consultancy firm, Ideato.

Jacopo says life is getting tougher for Italy's youth.

"It's hard," Jacopo said.  "You know, we are in a sort of transition between a free job market and a protected job market. There are no clear rules. So many are settled down to a model that doesn't exist any more while no one is really pushing the new model. And it's quite hard to match the extremes."

Analysts say those extremes are pulling Italian society apart.  In October, youths rioted on the streets of Rome after a 200,000-strong protest turned violent.

Then students clashed with police in cities across Italy, protesting against the new government.

Prime Minister Mario Monti has pledged new incentives for companies to hire young people.

But plans to increase the retirement age and slash state pensions are exacerbating the generational divide.

Michel Martone is a professor of labor law at Rome's LUISS University.

"The cause which is more important is what I have been calling 'generational selfishness,'" Martone noted.  "In some ways, the father has too many rights and too much money has been spent to pay for their rights - the pension rights, early retirement, for many things - and we have the third [highest] public debt in the world. Because we had a quality of life we couldn't afford."

Official figures show unemployment among 15 to 24-year-olds hit 29.3% in October. The overall rate is 8.3%.

"Many, many young people are leaving Italy," Martone added.  "They are leaving and going to other countries because in some way they don't want to pay these huge debts they didn't contribute to create."

Rome's rush hour metro is still packed with commuters, but many young people here don't have their own homes to return to.

The latest available figures show over half of under 35-year-olds in Italy still live with their parents.

Psychologist Angela Salina has been studying the mental effects of the crisis on young people.

"The most common psychological problem these days is anxiety: the inability to face the unknown and to stimulate creativity. The problem for young people is that they feel they have no role in society," said Salina.

Back at the jazz club, Jacopo Romei had this advice for Italy's young unemployed.

"You have to stress your endurance," Romei noted.  "You have to decide whether to complain or to act. If you decide you like your country, that's enough to decide not to complain and to try hard."

Analysts say that unless Italy can kick-start its sluggish economy into growth, the struggle for its young people to find a secure future will continue.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More