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Berlusconi's italy

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Johan Mannov Nielsson

on 6 November 2012

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Transcript of Berlusconi's italy

Berlusconi's Italy The homeless looks like garbage dumps which have become the decor of the city. The huge number of homeless people is as big as the mountains of garbage which has relentlessly been thrown out of car windows or by the passing inhabitants on the street.

The divide between the rich and poor has been underlined with a heavy speed marker. When walking down the street from the slum with building on both your sides, one with cracked façade and the other with its painting half erased by the sun. You cross the street and suddenly you find yourself in a completely different world. The buildings are now decorate in a fashionable way and in the parking lots Mercedes, Ranch Rovers and Volvos are parked. Businessmen just walking out of one of the posh fashion shops passing a cripple sitting on a dirty stained blanket begging with a desperate look in his eyes, trying to reach one of the passing people with his lumpy hands. New statistic shows that 70 % of the 20-35 year olds live at home, so if you travel to Italy and meets “Pablo,” you can be sure that when he asks you home, you are going to meet his Mama Rosa standing sweating with her little mustache on her lip in the rustic kitchen with pots and pans all over an the most delicious smell spreading through the little flat. Then you are introduced to his bedroom which is situated next to his moms.

It is not only the homeless who are losing hope; the young generation of Italy is struggling to survive in the never ending economical battle which Berlusconi has had a huge part in creating.

The NEET (no education, employment or training) generation has come to Italy… Berlusconi’s”remains” A young man is approached in his almost worn out working clothes and a clipboard in his hands. His face shows a split second of surprise by being addressed by three strangers. The man’s name is Flavia. He is 25 years old and works as a mosquito exterminator, a bit stout but with charismatic eyes. The heat in the streets makes a sweat drop drip down his temple, as he looks down to secure the pen to the clipboard. He seems incredibly open and friendly.

The government is now being led by Mario Monti an Italian economist and academic who has been the 54th Prime Minister since 2011. “Monti is just waiting for change to happen, for the bank situation to shift in another and more positive direction,” says Flavia with seriousness in his voice, looking intense. “Berlusconi, a good leader?!,” exclaims Flavia with a big laugh so he has to lean back and grab a lamp post. Berlusconi is obviously no more popular here than the Easter Bunny is during the Christmas season. “I absolutely don’t think that Berlusconi was a good leader, he put our country in ruins and made the situation very difficult for us. The only thing he is, is the best mafioso in Italy,” Flavia says with a twinkle in his eyes and lets out a small giggle. “If I should vote for anybody, then it would be Agrillo.”

The newspapers are awfully affected by the different parties; it is being culminated by a flood of politically party oriented views that only leads the population to be torn between almost impossible choices.

“I will not read newspapers; the articles are so obviously being influenced by which side of the government the newspaper either are supporting or owned by. I use the internet to get my information, because it’s much better and reliable. If I should read a magazine, then it’s scientific articles.”

He changes position so he now has all of his weight on one foot; he puts his hands in his pockets and smiles brightly. It only took one word before he was off speaking again, but this time with more passion and power in his voice: “Corruption should stop, but it is difficult because of the Italian police who are shit! They can’t and will not do anything. They are just shit!” Flavia makes a goofy grin and continues down the street with the clipboard loosely held in his right hand. Flavia Burning cars, facial piercings and messy hairstyles. The conditions youngsters are living under in Italy these days, is hard not to compare to an 80’s Denmark with young people filled with anger and despair. The situation in Italy is not a good one, this especially goes for the 25-30 year-olds. In this age group, 30.1% are out of work, no job means no income, and without an income you cannot support yourself. So as the youngsters lack jobs they begin to lack independence. Even if they are interning as part of an education, the money will be very little if any. After some tight years moneywise due to education, have passed they come out the other side only to find nothing. The employment situation in Italy is such that those who have jobs have safety and rights and are thus hard to fire, combine this with no growth and you will find there is no space for the newly educated. According to the AlmaLaurea Study, only 36% of newly educated had found long-term employment. The rest will either float between short term jobs, moonlight or stay unemployed and therefore probably also stay at home.

It is hard to learn how to get by on your own if your mommy is still cooking your dinner and washing your clothes, which is the case for 70% of these people. The 25-30’s are not just suffering under unemployment, 22.1% er NEET (not in education, employment or training) this means, that for 22.1% of this age group, they do not only lack an income now, but also the premises to have one later on. It is no surprise there is a dark cloud hanging over many young Italian minds. The numbers have spoken, and their words are gloomy. And so 45% of our youngsters have no faith in a proper future, but expect a deterioration of their standard of living, against 25% who think it will improve, the rest either do not know or do not believe in any change in the overall standard of living. The lack of faith in a proper future has driven many out of the country. When asked, 30% explained they intended to leave the country in order to find better job opportunities, either to find jobs in the first place or because their current job did not pay according to their education level. The poor salary that is given to the highly educated drove 11 700 youngsters with master degrees out of the country in 2007, hardly a surprise considering the master degree will earn you the equivalent of 8250 DKK a month after taxes.

Even after all this, all the unemployed, poorly paid, uneducated and unfortunate fates and futures that have been accounted for, it does not seem all bad when you walk the streets of Rome. They are not torching cars everywhere or vandalizing every street corner, they are getting on with it, and in the end that is all one simple Italian can do. Rome’s youth It’s in the middle of Rome and the streets are filled with honking smart cars and scooters rushing through. A guy with dark shades and a bag slung over his shoulder is approaching slowly. His posture seems without a care, but behind those dark shades is a man who has clearly made up his mind about the everlasting scandals in Italian politics. His name is Paolo. Paolo is a 29 year old guy who works in a studio for living and lives in a villa. Around his neck is a golden necklace with a medium sized cross hanging. A sign of belief. Paolo says that he attends the Catholic Church frequently, most likely every Sunday like pretty much any other Italian. Whether or not the church influences politics by its way of living and thinking, this does not affect Paolo one bit. Quietly, he whispers, “I do not vote. I am anarchist, but if tell - then prison.” In other words, Paolo is afraid to say, that he actually doesn’t want to share his opinions with the public and embrace his own democratic rights. His arguing against the current Italian system is that, especially the taxes are
used for bad. The big politicians, such as Berlusconi for instance, is using taxpayers’ money to “live the good life” arranging Unga Bungas and wasting money on inappropriately expensive transportation. When Paolo is asked if he reads any newspapers, he responds immediately, that no newspaper in Italy is neutral, so he does not mind reading any of them. He has, without a doubt, resigned his membership when it comes to Italy’s scratched and bloody political agenda. Paolo is like a lone wolf, and makes a clear end to the interview by stating, “I am totally out of this game.” He walks away in the same pace as he approached, slowly yet with steady steps. All evidence left of him on the sidewalk is the distinctive smell of cologne. The traffic is no different from before – horns honking, red lights being crossed and all out chaotic. But, nevertheless, they manage to work it out somehow. Paolo MircoIt’s a warm and sunny October afternoon. Surrounded by fancy and expensive hotels on Via Vittorio Veneto in Rome is a fine-looking young gentleman standing, glaring at a small watch shop’s show window. He is dressed neatly in a white and blue dress shirt and has a shoulder bag hanging by his side. His name is Mirco, and he is 25 years old. Mirco works right across the street at the American Embassy as an unpaid intern. He recently graduated from law school and now lives in the inner-city in an apartment which his parents have paid for. As it is right now, Mirco has no income, so his dream is to get hired in an actual law firm and earn money, so he will be able to make for his own living and not be dependent on his parents. In Italy, it is not uncommon for children to live at home with their parents until they’re in their late twenties. In fact, when the French movie, Tanguy from 2001, a comedy about the 28-year old Tanguy who is still living with his parents, was synchronized to Italian, his age had to be changed to 35 in order for the movie to be funny in Italian. So, Mirco is a very fortunate young man with parents who are willing to pay for his apartment and support him financially until he gets a paid job. Mirco says that for him, staying in Rome is not important, he would actually rather like to move back to his hometown. In fact, a large tendency of young newly college graduates moving
out of the country is currently seen. There are simply no jobs offering the salary and skills equivalent to their
education. It is not unusual to find doctors and lawyers doing a kiosk-worker’s job. As opposed to this, Mirco is very lucky, having found, though unpaid, a job equivalent to his skills, and hopefully he will find a proper paid job in the nearest future. Besides being fortunate and privileged, Mirco has an optimistic mind, when it comes to Italy’s future and its politics. He likes the government and even states that they are “serious, professional technicians.” However, when the question is, which party he votes for, drops of sweat appear on his forehead and the black, bold glasses starts steaming up. Nervousness. He obviously doesn’t want to express his political standpoint. When asked about what he thinks of Berlusconi and the corruption taking place, he stutters fretfully, that Berlusconi is not even the worst one. Berlusconi is simply one of many corrupt Italian politicians. Mario Monti, the leader of Italy since November
2011, who is both well-educated and experienced within the political agenda,
however, is not one of those corrupt politicians according to Mirco. “Monti is
much more honest” he states. And with the conclusion, that Monti has
transformed Italian politics and that everything, politics and economics, is
going somewhat better than 2 years ago, Mirco grins and looks relieved.
He is no longer in the hot seat. Even the steam from his glasses has
disappeared, and his forehead is less glistening with the sweat from a
nervous man. He says he needs to go to work and leaves the show
window with the all the fancy watches. Away goes an auspicious
young Italian man, uplifted and with the guts for life. Mirco Preview Next
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