It's the Economy, Stupido

As Italy’s economic crisis deepens, almost half of its young people are looking to bolt. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini


During the Great Wave of emigration, more than 4 million Italians made their way to America in the four decades between 1880 and 1920. Will a second Great Wave soon crash on foreign shores?

According to a report released by the Cariplo Foundation, a philanthropic organization, and the Toniolo Institute for Higher Education, a staggering 48 percent of Italian youths want to move abroad to find work.

Even those who aren’t ready to say ciao are hardly happy. The nation’s unemployment rate is a record 12.5 percent. And 47 percent of youths who have managed to find work in Italy complain their salaries are too meager, according to the poll.

“Youth unemployment is the true nightmare of our country,” Prime Minister Enrico Letta said earlier this month, adding that he fears Italy is creating a “lost generation.”

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