Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018

Italy risks social 'revolt' says head of young employers


Santa Margherita Ligure, June 7 - Soaring jobless
rates and the lack of prospects for young people mean
politicians could soon face a social "revolt" in Italy, the head
of a young employers group warned Friday.
Jacopo Morelli called on Italy's government to take
substantial measures to reform the tax system, improve equality
in the name of economic efficiency, and demonstrate the courage
necessary to deal with a myriad of problems plaguing business
and economy.
"They (the politicians) have emptied tomorrow of hope and
filled the present with anguish," said the head of the young
employers' branch of influential industrial confederation
"Without prospects for the future, the only prospect
becomes revolt".
More than 40% of Italian 15-to-24 year-olds are out of work
while businesses are shutting down all over the country and the
rate of start-ups is at an all-time low.
Many of the best young Italian minds and talents are
leaving the country while those who stay face the bleakest job
prospects in decades and the impossibility of starting families,
amid widespread talk of a 'lost generation'.
Morelli said Premier Enrico Letta's new government, which
has vowed to revive an economy in its longest recession for 20
years, must help Italian entrepreneurs and workers "pursue
together development, growth and social cohesion".
As a starting point, government must quickly address the
lack of business confidence that stems from fears about the
stability of the government and the economy, said Morelli.
Staggering job losses, falling industrial production and
concerns over government stability all undermine business
"No entrepreneur can work if he does not have
security...Whatever the company, it demands confidence".
That also means government must focus more attention on
business and labour taxes, and worry less about the
controversial IMU property tax, Morelli told a two-day
conference of young business leaders.
Another high priority must be closing the "wound" of tax
evasion and corruption, which undermines confidence in the
government and its economy, he added.
The loss of 120 billion euro to tax evasion and another 60
billion euro to corruption kill respect for the government and
force legitimate businessmen and tax payers to make up the
difference, said Morelli.
The hated IMU has become a serious problem for Letta as
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's PdL has threatened to bring down
the new government if it doesn't eliminate the IMU.
Italian business also needs the labour provided by
immigrants as well as greater certainty in the laws surrounding
newcomers to the country, said Morelli, wading into a major
debate in Italy over possible liberalization of immigration
New immigrants should be treated more equally - as should
women and any other group that has been marginalized, said
Moves in this direction should not be feared but welcomed
as good for business and the economy, he added.
"An unequal country is an inefficient country," he said,
adding that inequality "impoverishes everyone".
He noted that the uncertainties and struggles that Italy
faces today are not so different from those faced more than 500
years ago, when Italian political thinker Machiavelli wrote The
Prince, an innovative treatise on government.
"In the summer of 1513, Machiavelli began writing The
Prince in an Italy plagued by uncertainties and struggles," said
"Today, after 500 years, similarities are (still) there".
And that should serve as a wake-up call to government to do
more to move Italy away from the fear and uncertainty the
economy faces today.
"When the future is fear, when inequality threatens our
society...there comes a time, and that time is now," to stop
wasting opportunities for dramatic economic and fiscal reforms,
he said.

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