Confession from an Italian youth

Posted on November 14, 2012

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Few years ago when media started vociferating about financial crisis, my mum was not wrong when she said to me: “It’s going to be hard times, for many of us”.
It was 2009 when Greece experienced the drama of loss of jobs and sudden increase of debts.
People protested and revolted on the street, some of them even died, rebelling against the tight decisions of a government that, abruptly, was hit by a crisis whose outcomes were far beyond any expectation.
Eurozone countries, after some hesitations, came into action by providing Greece with a rescue package totaling 110 billions euros.

But the price to pay for Greeks was ( is) very high, unbereable: austerity, as the word itself suggests, means to be absolutely severe. When it comes to money, Greeks are asked to save up all their income and spend the least possible in primary goods.
In addiction, the government keeps cutting funds, increasing taxation and freezing pensions.
And the more the government cuts the more people protest.
This is a vicious circle that is condemning Greece and the main menace is still there: the exclusion of Greece from Euro. A death sentence. If this has to happen, there will be much more dramatic consequences as Greek currency will be too weak to compete with euro, a euro Germany is holding a tight grip on.
I am not an economist and I definitely am the last person who can suggest a solution for the crisis but, as I remember from my high school lessons, in order to restart an economy it is necessary to invest: factories, instead of closing down, need to produce , sell, export so that they can have an income which allow them to invest and produce more.
The source of the economy is production and in order to produce workers are needed and the more they produce -the more they work- the more they earn- the more they can save up- and slowly, painfully slowly, adjust all the problems that are decimating the economy and leaving Greeks hungry and angry.
It will take years but this can lead them to a recovery which can guarantee a future, even if not the brightest, to their children.

At the moment there is no gleam of hope for Greeks and, as a financial crisis always spreads quicker than a disease, many have been infected: the future is dark and menacing for Spanish, Portuguese people and Italians too.
And today we are going to protest on the street, once again,because cuts are unbearable and people are hungry and when people are hungry they turn mean, irrational, violent.
It’s been more than four years since my mum told me that sentence, which sounded like a tremendous verdict and which carried a terrible truth. Truth I can confirm every day when I talk to my countrymen who had previously disapproved my decision to move to London and now commend me instead; and with their voice unable to disguise envy and sadness, they encourage me to stay where I am, “It is not the right time, there is no work for anybody”.
I can see my country suffer and there is nothing I can do.
That the situation is much worse than I thought is evident when I meet tens  of Italians moved to London to find a job, when I read in the newspaper of people, from pensioners who cannot afford food to graduated youths who cannot work even at Mc Donald, who desperately commit the last act: suicide. And the list is very long.
While I read about these deaths, not only in Italy but also in my neighbor countries, I cannot help but asking myself: Is it going to happen to my family as well?
A family I hardly see and who I can hardly protect from a monster much bigger, stronger, meaner, mortal than all my capabilities.
I am scared of the future which turned out to be a tremendous menace for all of us and the more time goes by, the more people kill themselves.
Is there any solution to this crisis?
Will we go back to smile?

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