Inequalities and poverty on the rise in post- Covid-19 Italy

Sallie Anderson

“My sister was a waitress in a restaurant. When she lost her job because of Covid-19, she came to stay with me. She used to work off the books, so didn’t get any help from the government” states M.

She works as a waitress too, in a bar of Vicenza, a city in northernItaly She has a so-called grey task: officially, it is a part-time however in fact, she works full- time, getting part of her income under the counter. She is frightened of losing her task.

  • 36-percent of Italian homes would be not able to handle an unforeseen costs for EUR800 (Image: Gabriele Catania).

“Our parents are retired, they can’t help us much.”

Young Italians are amongst the most impacted by the pandemic-related recession.

G. is 35 and works as a public relations freelance: “I’ve been working since I’m 21 and I’ve never seen a fixed-term contract in my life. Working night and day I managed to earn €1,800 net a month, but now with the excuse of the crisis the small companies and startups I work for are postponing payments, or asking me huge discounts”.

Immigrants are likewise a classification at threat.

Ibrahima originates from Senegal, and lives in Venice.

“There is no work here, there are few tourists. I used to live thanks to a few jobs in construction, but not anymore,” he informs EUobserver.

Ibrahima repents to plead. He wishes to discover a task as soon as possible, so is going to Venice’s Riviera, wanting to discover a couple of gigs.

There is issue in the streets of northern Italy, the financial engine of the nation.

In rich cities like Vicenza or Padua numerous stores are closed, open ones are frequently half- empty. In big cities like Milan or Turin, rows at the Installs of piety are growing; some get up at dawn to make certain they can pawn a wedding event or a locket ring.

The ‘brand-new bad’

Italy is experiencing a rise of ‘nuovi poveri’ [the new poor]; people who handled (barely) to make ends satisfy prior to the pandemic now discover themselves in a really tight spot.

In the view of Michele Raitano, associate teacher of financial policy at Sapienza University of Rome, “there is a great risk that, just like the crisis of 2008, the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 emergency will cause an increase in socio-economic inequality”.

Alberto Colaiacomo is head of interaction at Rome’s Caritas, the charitable arm of the Italian Bishops Conference.

“In April and May we helped 7,000 more people in Rome alone, people we had never seen before the lockdown” he states.

Sectors that had actually handled to endure the 2008 recession are seriously having a hard time now.

For instance, the Filipino neighborhood in Rome has actually constantly had the ability to assist its fellow people, states Colaiacomo. With the Covid-19 emergency situation, numerous Filipinos used as servants in the houses of rich Romans lost both work and real estate, and had to turn to Caritas.

“Romans who worked illegally or with precarious contracts, especially in construction, bars and restaurants were also in serious difficulty,” includes Colaiacomo. “Workers in the entertainment industry also needed help”.

In the view of David Benassi, teacher of sociology of financial procedures and labour at the University of Milano-Bicocca, “the lockdown compromised the precarious balance of many people and families”.


According to the national data company Istat, 36 percent of Italian homes are not able to handle an unexpected expense of EUR800, he points out.

This verifies the vulnerability of big areas of the population, who did not have access to amazing federal government help throughout the lockdown, or had it just late.

“Fortunately, when the pandemic broke out the Citizens’ Income was already functioning, helping (relatively) many households” Benassi includes.

People’ Earnings is an anti-poverty step introduced in early 2019 by the 5 Star Motion, the biggest party in the existing centre-left federal government union.

Harshly-criticized by the lobbies of business owners and numerous political leaders, particularly from the centre and the right, People’ Earnings is much valued by the poorest Italians, especially in the south.

It is insufficient, nevertheless, nor is it the magic bullet for a fragmented, disorderly well-being.

G., the PR freelance, is worried about hisfuture “I’ve always been a good student but unlike many friends of mine, I have not inherited homes, large sums of money or businesses from my family. Italy is unfair; it doesn’t help those who deserve it”.

According to Benassi”social mobility has weakened. The children of the rich remain rich because they go to better schools and are in the right circles. The children of the poor remain poor”


Enrica Morlicchio is teacher of financial sociology at the University of Naples Federico II. “1.1 million children live in families in absolute poverty” she states.”They don’t have adequate housing nor sufficient food, and live in conditions of severe crowding”


For a number of these children the just chance is to study, graduate in some technical or clinical topic and emigrate to big cities of northern Italy or abroad.

However schools needed to close due to the emergency situation, requiring students to participate in lessonsonline A disruption that might jeopardize the whole instructional profession of numerous.

“57 percent of poor children live in houses with no Internet connection; many cannot count on the support of their parents for distance learning. That’s why it is not enough to provide tablets and devices to those who don’t have one,” Morlicchio states.

Family continues to be very important inItaly Most likely excessive.

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