Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Napolitano invokes Constitution in war on unemployment

English
© ANSA

(By Denis Greenan).
Rome, May 30 - President Giorgio Napolitano
invoked the Italian Constitution on Thursday in an appeal for
the nation's political parties, trade unions and businesses to
combat the huge problem of unemployment in recession-hit Italy.
Close to three million Italians are unemployed and almost
as many again are off the job market even though they are
willing to work, in many cases because they have given up hope
of finding paid employment.
On Wednesday the OECD forecast that unemployment in Italy
would rise from 10.6% in 2012 to 11.9% this year and 12.5% in
2014.
"We must have a republic that measures up to Article One of
the Constitution," Napolitano said, calling on all the social
and political groups to join forces in this.
Article One of the Constitution states that Italy is a
republic "founded on labour".
Unemployment is especially serious among young Italians, as
it hits almost four out of 10 15-to-25-year-olds on the job
market.
National statistics agency Istat said last week that 2.25
million 15-to-29-year-olds were not in education, employment or
training (NEET) in 2012, 23.9% of the total.
"This isn't just an Italian problem," said Napolitano. "The
technologies and terms of employment have changed and it was
realised very late that unemployment among young people is
spreading in the West and in emerging countries.
"In Italy we are feeling this acutely and dramatically".
But Napolitano also stressed the country's youth needed to
focus on meritocracy when looking for a job, not nepotism or
favoritism.
"There are many young people who still count on favoritism
to get a job. However, jobs obtained by personal recommendations
don't even scratch the surface of the problem of youth
unemployment," he said
"Even if this is a serious problem, the truth is that with
or without favoritism, millions and millions of young people are
out of work," Napolitano said.
Italy's youth, already being called 'a lost generation',
risk going "psychologically adrift," he added in urging "special
attention" for them.
"Above all, regional, local and government institutions
need to focus attention on the condition of youth...who feel
they have no prospects (for the future)," Napolitano said.
Just after the president spoke, a young man who recently
lost his job threw himself off a balcony in the town of Arce
south of Rome in the latest in a spate of recession-linked
incidents.
The 26-year-old, a recent university graduate, was
helicoptered to a Rome hospital with serious spinal injuries.
Italy has seen a series of suicides apparently
linked to economic difficulties in the last year but most have
been older people, not in their 20s or 30s.
A fertiliser-factory owner killed himself near Pisa last
month while a man afraid of losing his job in an eyewear
factory near Belluno and a carpenter whose business was in
trouble in central Sardinia also took their own lives.
Also last month, three people - a married couple and the
woman's brother - committed suicide in Marche, gaining
front-page headlines and adding to a toll whose exact impact has
not been measured.
Businesses are closing at an unprecedented rate, employers'
associations report, while unemployment is at a record high in
Italy's worst recession for 20 years.

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