23-Feb-18 16:39. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Teenage violence escalating

In the last two months the media have been reporting an escalation of violence involving gangs of teenagers often attacking their peers in middle-class neighbourhoods of Naples, especially where most of the nightlife takes place. At least eleven incidents were reported in the past two months, including the stabbing of a 17-year-old, the mugging of two teens by a gang armed with chains, and a violent beating that caused the 15-year-old victim to have his spleen removed.


23-Feb-18 16:37. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Italy's birth rate continues to fall and sets a new record low

The number of babies born in Italy continues to drop and Italy's birth rate has hit another negative record. According to the latest figures from the national statistics bureau, Istat, 464,000 babies were born in Italy in 2017, down by 2% on 2016. This means 9,000 below the 2016 total, which was already 12,000 fewer than the year before that, marking the lowest birth rate since Italy’s unification in 1861. Taking into account the past 10 years, the situation is even more worrying as births have fallen by 100,000.


23-Feb-18 16:34. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

€3.75 per hour earned by Italian University Teachers?

According to a survey of the union of temporary workers and trade unions in Bologna, Italian University teachers earn as little as €3.75 per hour. In the country which was one of the cradles of western culture, courses that are quintessential to the academic curriculum are taught by 26,000 underpaid temporary professors. The survey shows teachers at university earn between €4.28 and €17.14 per hour for a 60-hour course, or between €3.75 and €15 per hour, before tax, for a one-semester module. 85% of temporary professors in Italy teach classes assessed as compulsory for students’ curriculum, while Universities state that these external lecturers are hired only for minor disciplines or lab work.


29-Nov-17 12:59. By Giulia Lomardo | Comments (0)

Almost 10% of the population has emigrated

Emigration from Italy is a major threat to its economy in the near future. Notwithstanding GDP growth and the announced economic recovery, the emigration flow continues and almost 10 per cent of the Italian population has left the country to emigrate abroad. “The financial times” reported that the number of Italians living outside the country has reached 5.4 million, an increase of 3.5 per cent over last year. The official figures may be much higher as many Italians are reluctant to formally register abroad in order not to lose their health coverage in Italy. For example, the financial times reported that the number of Italians obtaining social security numbers in the UK last year was twice the number of those officially registered as living in Britain. Young people account for the majority of Italian emigration. The UK National Insurance statistics show that since 2002 more than 90 per cent of Italians registering to work in Britain were under 44 years old. Some 77 per cent were aged between 18 and 34 years old.


06-Nov-17 14:21. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Italian students in job placement scheme protests

Italian students took to the streets to protest against the recently introduced job-placement schemes. The protests come after a number of demonstrations against contested school reforms named “the Good School”, passed by the previous government of Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi. There was no independent estimate of the total, but the student unions claimed 200,000 youths protested across Italy, with rallies in Rome, Naples, Milan, Salerno and other cities. It was also a protest against alleged underfunding of state schools. The job placement scheme is a compulsory work experiences for upper secondary school students. 95% of schools - about 900,000 students – already participate in work experience schemes. Thousands of Italian school students protested nationwide over these work placements which they say doesn’t contribute to their future job prospects. Many of them reported ending up working for free in retail shops or fast food restaurants instead of having a hands-on constructive experience in a field of their interest. Italy has the EU's third-highest jobless rate of 11.2%.


06-Nov-17 14:19. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Improving skills critical to Italy's future - your country needs you

Improving skills performance will be critical to foster inclusive and sustainable growth across the country. Italy has relatively few tertiary educated workers, and the inflow of new graduates to the labour market is relatively small. The share of 25 to 34-year-old Italians with university-level higher education is just 20 percent, compared to the OECD average of 30 percent for the same age group.


12-Oct-17 12:07. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Brain drain to lead to Care drain?

The “brain drain” is a well-known phenomenon in Italy which doesn’t seem to stop. In 2015, the last year for which data from Italy’s statistics institute ISTAT are available, 23,000 young Italians left the country, 15 percent over the previous year. Most of these people emigrating abroad are graduates looking for better career opportunities abroad, causing an impoverishment of the country’s human resources. The harsh truth to face is that Italy is literarily giving away its most qualified professionals and is not considered as an attractive option for foreign talents. The brain drain phenomenon deeply differs from any previous emigration wave. First of all, as already mentioned, it mainly involves highly qualified people, but the social change is broader, as for example, it is the first time that young people leave home, in most cases leaving their parent alone, where there are no other children in the family. In the past the family emigrated together or just one of the children left. The consequences on the long run will be dramatic: Italy has already the oldest population in Europe. The brain drain is likely to trigger a consequent phenomenon: the ‘care drain’ as the elderly will be left to fend for themselves.


28-Jun-17 17:27. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Young Italian couple among the victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze

There was a young Italian couple among the victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze. As the main newspapers reported, Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi, both 27 years old, called parents from 23rd storey flat as they watched flames rise towards them. The couple had planned to go back home the week after to celebrate Marco’s 28th birthday on Monday the 26th of June.


28-Jun-17 17:25. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Textile and Fashion key for the Italian Economy

Textile and fashion companies are crucial to the Italian economy: half of the Italian commercial surplus comes from these two sectors. The textile and fashion industry is Italy’s largest after machinery. Italian fashion revenues continue to outperform Italy’s broader economy. In the last part of 2016 and in the first quarter of 2017, they even picked up speed. In 2016, exports amounted to $62 billion, creating a surplus of $25 billion, half of the Italian total, which recorded an absolute record. The fashion system in the widest sense, including products such as eyewear, jewellery and cosmetics, produced a turnover close to €84 billion.


28-Jun-17 17:21. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

1 in 3 people in Italy think the country should leave the EU

A study by Pew Research Centre showed that more than one in three people in Italy think the country should leave the European Union. According to this survey, most Europeans view the EU more positively since the 2016 Brexit vote, but Italy is an exception to the trend, with an increasingly unfavourable perception of the bloc.


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