New generations must give Italy hope says Letta
'Generational change possible' says PM at end of US trip18 October, 10:35
"Without new generations at the helm Italy is a country without hope," said Letta, whose government has launched measures to try to stop waves of talented young people giving up on fruitless job searches and seeking work abroad during Italy's longest postwar recession.
Speaking at the prestigious Brookings Institute before flying back to Italy, the premier, who earlier received President Barack Obama's praise for his "leadership and integrity", voiced the hope that "it is possible to have generational change in Italy." In a separate interview with the Washington Post, Letta said it was his "dream" to enable Italy to give opportunities to new generations. "We have to give opportunities to young people, that is my mission," Letta told te WP.
With young people mostly locked out of the job market except for underpaid temp contracts they often lose, there has been talk for years in Italy of a "lost generation".
Today's younger Italians enjoy far less of the job security that enabled previous generations to settle down and enter the property market.
Analysts often talk of a "war" between generations where older people in safe, long-term and virtually sack-proof employment trap younger ones who find it extremely hard to find well-paid steady jobs and leave the nest.
Cases of the "best and brightest" young Italians feeding a brain drain in fields ranging from scientific research to business and fashion regularly make headlines in Italy.