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Matteo Renzi

Can new prime minister Matteo Renzi fulfil the hopes of Italy's youth?

Matteo Renzi 40%

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Soaring youth unemployment leaves many with no option but to migrate to countries with better economies and more jobs
 

"What do I think of Matteo Renzi? I don't trust his face," said Danielle Barrese, 23, a trainee chef from Calabria. "And I don't trust any promises made to young people in this country."

 

Renzi, who triggered a generational shift in Italian politics on Saturday when, aged 39, he became Italy's youngest prime minister, has made bold promises to give work back to the country's chronically underemployed youth.

 

But the staggeringly popular Renzi is drawing sneers and yawns from young people in Italy's black hole of joblessness, Reggio Calabria, in the tip of the country's toe. "They have been promising us the earth since 1994 and now it's just the rest of the world that is left laughing – at us," said Salvatore Crucitti, 23, a conservatoire-trained musician who, like Barrese, wants to emigrate.

 

After leaving his job as mayor of Florence, Renzi has promised a rapid-fire programme of reforms to lift the economy after he took the top job by ousting his Democratic party colleague Enrico Letta. This weekend he made a bold start, announcing that half the members of his first cabinet would be women. But the bike-riding, smooth-talking Renzi has his work cut out.

 

The predicament of Italy's lost generation is dire. With more than 372,000 firms closing last year, the percentage of 15- to 24-year-olds out of work has risen to 41.6%, double the UK rate. And, unlike their parents, who often enjoyed jobs for life, 90% of those who secu. e jobs today are offered temporary contracts.

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Tom Kington in Reggio Calabria

22 February 2014

Read more: www.theguardian.com

2014-02-23


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