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Rising unemployment a test for Italian PM

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Rising unemployment a test for Italian PM


Over 17 million people are out of work in the eurozone and Italy is just one of the countries where unemployment is rising.

The jobless total reached 9.8 percent in March, the highest for 12 years.

Among 15 to 24 year olds the level is 35.9 percent.

Job seekers speak of their their increasing disillusionment.

Laura Giovanco) “It’s been almost two years since I’ve had a stable job,” said unemployed accountant Laura Giovanco. “Because if you want a stable job they always want younger people. And given that I am 32 years-old, they want someone who is a maximum of 30 years-old. And on top of that, they offer short-term contracts.”

The number of jobless in the eurozone is at its highest since the introducion fo the euro, and some see the problem as a threat to its stability, including economic professor Jean-Paul Fitoussi from Rome’s LUISS university:

“Those who are in the labour force and who are losing their jobs have no future as well, so you can’t expect that this destruction of the main links, the major links in society, what I call ‘social capital’, can be accepted for long before there is some turmoil.”

And frustration is already growing. On Thursday a demonstration was held outside the Ministry of Defence against planned cuts in the military.
It could all turn out to be a big headache for technocrat prime minister Mario Monti. Local elections on Sunday and Monday are the first real test of his policies of austerity.

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