Monday, 3 November 2014

The Italians flee Italy - 70% choose the UK

94,129 Italians moved from Italy in 2013 and that is an increase of 16% since 2012. 70% of the Italian emigrants chose Britain as their new home and London is, of course, the favourite city. I am not surprised of seeing this happen. Italy does not give much hope to the youngsters today. It is almost impossible to find a job, no matter how much you have studied. You can no longer afford to raise a family in Italy, and 1 young Italian out of 2 is prepared to leave the country in the future. 

Photo: Eugenio Frasca

A lot of Italians have moved abroad over the years. Argentina is the country where most Italians live, Germany is in second place and there are 570,000 Italians living in Switzerland. Over 4.5 million Italians live abroad and this number is increasing. A lot of young Italians do not see a future in the home country and see themselves forced to move to another country. Most of the people that leave Italy are below 35. The preferred country today is the United Kingdom, then come Germany and France. In these countries you can get a job with a working contract, something almost impossible in Italy today.  

51% of the 30-year-old Italians receive financial help from their parents. It is tough for your self esteem not to be independent when you have reached an age when people often feel like settling down, building up a family and finding a home. 1 young Italian out of 2 is willing to move abroad in order to get a job in the future. 

In Italy a lot of people have been talking about the phenomenon "Cervelli in fuga" (brains on the run), which refers to  highly educated Italians who are forced to find jobs abroad because unemployment is too high and salaries too low. Actually it is not only people that have graduated from University that flee from Italy, but all kinds of people. In a place like London London you can get a job at a bar and get by. It's easier to get a real job with a contract in a country such as UK. There is only one problem - you should be able to speak English if you want to live in an English speaking country. A lot of Italians are bad at English and I am convinced that many more Italians would move abroad if they mastered English better. 

A lot of people complain about the immigration to Italy and I do admit that we have an issue here, even though the problem is European, not only Italian. However, the people moving out from Italy are twice as many as those moving into the country! It's not easy to live in a country where 1 out of 3 children are considered as poor according to UNICEF, and where there are more people dying than being born. Parents here in Italy struggle hard for their children to get an education at University. There are no scholarships or other support, and to get some help to pay the school books from High School and on, you have to be really poor. The parents then want to see the kids find a job, possibly with a working contract, paid holidays and sickness.  There is no social aid available for unemployed young people, and to get unemployment benefits, you must have had a fixed job for at least 2 years. 

I cannot blame the Italians for leaving the country. I do understand them so well. But I can of course not help wondering what  will happen in the future. Who will row this sinking boat? 



The Italian newspaper  Metro 29 October 2014.