Italy's Generation Gap

Friday, February 11, 2011


There's a generation gap in Italy, one that is increasingly making it into the media there. Politicians accuse the youth of being lazy, increasingly unemployed younger people grow to resent one of the oldest populations in Europe and, as Megan Williams reports, intergenerational strife is spilling into the streets - and the press.

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Comments [8]


The Attitude toward the younger generation in the gap seems only to be older aggression and is being expressed through out a wide group of the older and elderly. age wise people learn all through there life and there are definetaly young people who are wise any could relate more to their generation. As a group that wants to be heard, some of the younger use force just as older poeple have taught them

Mar. 11 2011 01:07 PM

It seems like the government of Italy is creating its own problems. It wants young people to get out of their parents homes but the government is not willing to supply the "big babies" with jobs in order to earn enough money to get out. The government even tried to pass a law to get 18 year-olds to get out of the house but I believe this would increase the amount of homeless people since they would not have any money or anywhere to go.

Feb. 17 2011 04:25 PM
Sebastiano from Italy

To follow up on the previous comment:
As a last point, it is true that in Italy the leading roles in the economy, industry, public sector and university are all made up by "older people". That is a consequence of the old system still greatly in use. One staid in university till the 30's, (often not even earning a degree); then got a job as a clerk or little more in the public sector or a factory controlled by the public sector by the mid 30'a thanks to political connections; it takes then ten/fifteen years of kissing a**, more political connections and possibly a bit of good hard work and some results to get to some sort of director position: you are going to hold on to that chair very hard. The system would work in solidarity to bar the way to young employees aspiring to promotion, even if they are qualified.
And again young people going on the streets are rallying to defend just that system.

ps please allow more characters, 2000 are nor enough to make a proper comment; had to hurriedly edit my messge. Just a kind suggestion and request.

Feb. 14 2011 05:22 AM
Sebastiano from Italy

Italy's system (one of the most socialist in the west) guaranteed for decades a large proportion of the population secure employment almost for life.
This created in the years a huge debt which almost bankrupted the country and some measures of costs reduction and privatizations started to be taken in the early 90s, insufficient and structurally inappropriate.
Now some blame it on Berlusconi but who are they going to blame it on once he is gone? the problems will remain and the centre left do not recognize that the only way to save the country is to continue on reducing public spending and ease state regulations and taxes that hold the economy back.
Actually Berlusconi could be blamed for not doing enough and that is right in that direction.
Going back to the subject matter, we have a huge young population, too many don't study much or at all and don't work much or at all. They will not accept a job if it's not related to their degree; or if the contract doesn't guarantee them years of employment. In a time of bad economy many Italians could do any menial job, but most Italians find that undignified.
When my business went bust I had no problem doing two jobs a day one as waiter/porter in a hotel and in a street market and I have university education.
I see too many youngsters today who don't study and don't feel like working much. Mind you I am not saying the majority are like that, but if they were close to half they would be too many. Even if they are wealthy now, thanks to their parents, many of them will end up being waiters or employees of foreigner immigrants who like the past generations of Italian, know the meaning of the words commitment and sacrifice.

Feb. 14 2011 05:16 AM
Sara from Saint Louis, MO

Great piece, except that it is a gerontocracy, not a geriocracy. The entire world is aging rapidly; pieces like this will become very important in the next two decades.

Feb. 14 2011 01:07 AM
carolita from nyc

I was intrigued by the idea of the newspaper written by under-40s, so I searched for it. Anyone curious to see the Daily Week mentioned in this piece:
and here is the cover "you're all old" that was described:

Feb. 13 2011 04:47 PM
Robert from NYC

Bravo, glad you covered this. It's time to do some reporting on Berlusconi and why he should get out. This is coming from an old man. But it's time Italy got rid of the arthritic crowd and brought in the new bones and blood.

Feb. 13 2011 10:34 AM

Feb. 12 2011 10:24 AM

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