published earlier today in the Italian Insider.
Implications of being 20 in the South
By Florence Brock
NAPLES – In an effort to propose stimulating discussion on plaguing issues, the top daily newspaper Il Mattino has announced the forum entitled “Avere 20 anni al Sud: le ragioni per restare e per tornare” (The implications of being 20 in the South of Italy: reasons to stay and to come back)” to be held at the Mercadante Theatre on Dec. 11.
With the participation of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the event is scheduled to start at 10:30 am and run until mid-afternoon at 6 pm. In addition, institutions, economists, entrepreneurs, businessmen, credit institutions and start-up reps from the South will take the microphone and give their input on a predicament that has been plaguing this nation for years.
“The interconnection between the haemorrhage of ‘cervelli in fuga’ (‘fleeing of southern intelligence’) and the brilliant minds that come to the territory is still very negative,” explains Director of Il Mattino Barbano at the press conference Monday. “This means that the policies adopted until now have not managed to invert a necessary tendency from which a North-South economic recovery depends,” he goes on to say.
In the last ten years, more than 200,000 college graduates have left the South of Italy to move either to northern Italy or abroad. The Association for Industrial Development in the South – SVIMEZ – has estimated that the cost of cultural impoverishment for the South amounts to nearly 30 billion Euros based on pro capita educational spending supported by the state.
The situation the association outlines is emblematic of phenomena that appears unstoppable and that, together with the ever-growing annual migration flux, risks depleting this area of the country, leaving it more and more at the margins of economic growth. In light of such a bleak perspective that interrogates the consciousness of every sector of civil life, people need to react and think seriously. Coming to the conclusion that it is impossible to ignore the role of society and it’s most significant expressions that include universities, companies, banks, and politics.
With this in mind, some of the most important national institutions, experts from the academic research world, teachers and economists that represent the knowledge of the entire country, and institutions within the territory, have all been called on to discuss the issue.
Highlighting the intense forum programme in the Siani room, the newspaper chief illustrated the discussion topics on themes concerning work, the South, and young people.
The day discussions will be centred around three sessions.
Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni will give the opening remarks followed by illustrious local leaders such as Mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris, Governor of Campania Vincenzo De Luca, Rector of University Federico II Gaetano Manfredi and others.
At noon, Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda is scheduled to open the second session followed by a rich series of interventions from the business world.
The last discussion will commence at 14:30 pm with comments from Minister of the South Claudio De Vincenti, followed by editorial comments from Il Mattino journalists and various leftwing and rightwing political party members.
“In an attempt to promote discussion on themes concerning work, which are a main focus for young people and their future, the event plans on telling stories of those that fight for the dignity of a qualified and qualifying job here in the south as well as the testimony of those who have been inducted to leave but who perhaps would like to return without being able to do so,” the newspaper editor concludes.