ROME, 16 February – There was a time where Italians used to go abroad to make a new life. They came to the U.S., as well as other countries, and created a future for themselves and their families.
Then Italy moved on to the list of the world’s largest economies, becoming the seventh richest country in the world. And the emigration phase was suddenly gone.
But now the desire to find a better place to nurture their own dreams and expectations seems to have gained popularity once again. The majority of young people in Italy are ready to go abroad to work and create their future and an even greater number say they are “discouraged” over the situation in Italy today, according to a new report from the social research group Eurispes.
The 2012 Italy Report found that roughly 60% of Italians between the ages of 18 and 34 would, given the opportunity, leave Italy. It was already a fact, before the last survey, that 8 million Italians, or one third of the work force earn less than seven hundread euros per month, the hardest hit being the young and educated.
The percentage of those who are ready to leave fell below 40%, among Italians between 35 and 44, while only 30% of Italians between 45 and 64 would leave the country and only 20% over the age of 65. The possibility of finding employment was the greatest motive for emigrating, followed by a lower cost of living and a few other miscellaneous reasons. Italy’s unemployment rate is currently running at 8.6% with 30% of young people between 15 and 24 unable to find work.
The readiness to emigrate appeared to coincide with the findings in the Eurispes study which showed that 63.2% of Italians were discouraged by the general situation in Italy. In fact, the majority of Italians quizzed in the poll had little or no desire to personally contribute to any recovery in Italy or work for the country’s general interest, compared to 36% who said they were ready to do what they can.
The most “discouraged” group in Italy were without a doubt young people between 25 and 34, over 75% were gloomy about Italy’s future, followed by those between 45-64 (63.8%) and 35-44 (60.5%), while young people between 18 and 24 (58.9%) said they were discouraged.
The Eurispes report also found than many Italians did not feel they were politically represented and did not classify themselves in any particural political formation. As we all know, there is still a big difference between declaring oneself ready to leave and the actual decision to close the door and take a plane with a one way ticket.