Italy from the inside, ep.4: is my Country losing his youth? two Regions are voting for autonomy in Sunday, but it’s not Catalonia; politicians want to kick out the Bank of Italy’s chairman
Every weekend, a brief look at the Italian week in politics
In 2016, 124.076 people left Italy, a report of the Migrantes foundation says. Among them, the 40% is 18–34 aged. In this age group, the percentage of migrants grew by 23.3% compared to the previous year.
Now, I’m not going to explain to you why Italian youngs are escaping from Italy. Every possible answer would be rhetorical, and probably incomplete. The only fact I want to point out is the one concerned the youth unemployment, which is permanently around the 40%, one of the highest in the EU.
People who leave Italy are of course the most skilled workforce. They are graduated girls and boys who know one foreign language at least and who have competence for facing a transnational and competitive labor market. Few of them, the report says, return to Italy.
So my country is maybe exporting his best part. A country which grows more slowly than most of the others in the Eu (in many ranks only the poor Greece is often below us) is losing his possible future ruling class.
Sorry, I’m turning rhetorical.
In Sunday, two northern rich regions are going to vote for autonomy
Citizens of Lombardy and Veneto are called to vote in a popular referendum about autonomy on Sunday. The two regions are among the richest in Italy and are both ruled by members of the Northern League.
As we saw in episode 2, the autonomy of the northern regions is a historical battle of the League, but also many center-right and even center-left politicians declared to support the referendum.
The consultation is everything but revolutionary. The Regional Councils are allowed to ask more autonomy from the central state, as provided for in Article 116 of the Italian Constitution. A referendum is not required, but the Regions decided to announce it in order to strengthen their position in case of massive participation. The referendums are not binding and for the Lombardy is not required a quorum, while in Veneto must vote the 50%+1 of the entitled in order to consider effective the result.
Who criticize the referendum says it’s a waste of money. The Internal Ministry recently estimate 3,5 million of expense for the public safety for the vote in Lombardy and 2 million for that in Veneto. This sum joins the 50 million for the voting machines and further 24 million for the consultation in Lombardy. Protests occurred from the Veneto’s President Luca Zaia, who denounced an “attack on democracy” and the will of the government to boycott the referendum.
The Democratic Party wants to kick out Ignazio Visco, president of the Italian banking system
The Chamber of Deputies approved on Tuesday a motion of the Democratic Party which calls indirectly for not confirming Ignazio Visco as chairman of the Bank of Italy. Visco was nominated in 2011 and his mandate is expiring in two weeks. Under his presidency, the Italian banking system faced many serious crisis, and the Democrats called for a figure “more adequate” in order to “guarantee new trust” in the system.
Now, this is not a standard process. The president of the Bank of Italy is nominated by the President of the Republic, upon the proposal of the government. Many criticized the interference of the parliament, and an important journalist as Ferruccio De Bortoli (former director of the Corriere della Sera) even defined the move “subversive”.
The Bank of Italy is indeed formally independent by government and politics. The Head of State Sergio Mattarella called for the safeguard of “the autonomy and the independence of the institute, in the interest of the economic situation of our country and of the protection of the Italians’ savings”.
The leader of the Democratic Party Matteo Renzi, involved in a travel by train across Italy for the electoral campaign, claims he had no role in the affair, but admitted that there’s been a “lack of supervision” on the banking system in the last years. “A Visco’s reconfirmation — he said however in a Tv interview — would be not a defeat for my party”.
Now it’s up to the government.
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If you miss the previous episodes, you can find them here, here and here.
P.s. I have little experience in English writing. In case of mistakes, please be clement, but do not hesitate to point them out in the comments.