November 3rd, 2011
03:11 AM GMT
Share this on:

Editor's note: As world leaders gather in Cannes for the G-20 summit, CNN's Diana Magnay and Phil Han are traveling around Europe this week to talk to European youths about the economic crisis.

Milan, Italy (CNN) – Phil, why are we driving these distances? 14 hours in two days, same still to go – I need to run to Marseille to get my legs working again!

But once again, our little group in Milan made it worth it.

Federico Limouta, Fabio Guzzi, Cristina Bonafede and Laura Absonia, a huge thanks to you all for your time and your thoughts.

Youth unemployment in Italy runs at 28%, well above the eurozone average of 20%. When I asked you how worried you were about your job prospects, you all laughed nervously. “There is no money in Italy, there is no opportunity,” you said. “The possibility to have our own life and our own job and independence will start at 30 or even later.

“Every student in Italy has problems finding a job, so many people who study in Italy go outside Italy because it’s so difficult here.”

You felt your government wasn’t putting anything like the right kind of emphasis on education or job programs for young people.

“We need more investments in culture and schools and jobs for young people,” you said. “The government and the image we have all over the world is the main problem. It’s also the way the government uses our taxes, because they don’t put it in culture or in jobs, they just use it to fix banks’ problems and personal problems.”

You were fairly unanimous in your belief that this government had to go. “They only admitted they had a problem this summer, even though it was clear long before that Italy was in trouble. How can they fix anything if they don’t even acknowledge it?”

You weren’t sure what kind of a future lay in store or whether it would be better to return to the lira or not.  One of you said, “I think the euro and Europe is the only future we have in Italy.”

Another of you thought a return to the lira was inevitable but no good thing; while someone else thought the lira would return some fairness to pricing. Nevertheless, you all felt returning to an “each man for himself” national mentality wasn’t the answer.

“We are a cosmopolitan world and everyone has to help the other,” you said.

Tomorrow we head to Marseille. We want to meet you there. We hope to be earlier than 4 p.m. as we’re keen to shoot at least one of these town halls in daylight!

- Thursday, November 3: Marseille, France

- Friday, November 4: Barcelona, Spain

Tweet us if you want to join – @dimagnayCNN; @philHanCNN – we would be thrilled to meet you.

And to all of those who can’t, who live elsewhere, who we can’t reach on our four days of crazy driving: please blog, iReport, tweet. This is what social media is all about! This is about you.

My favorite tweets so far:

“Here in Ireland all the visas for Canada have been issued for 2011, many ppl now waiting until January 2012 to apply,” wrote Gannicus4.

“We have to save Greece and we have to think European. But what will be the final cost of this salvage?” asked LoicCaraibes.

“110 people are leaving irish soil every day looking for work. Devastating families,” said CiaranNevin.

Phil, my long-suffering friend, driving companion and colleague, I am eternally grateful for your iPod but Andrea Bocelli crossing over into Italy was an unacceptable choice.

See you in Marseille.

Schedule for the rest of the week:

Thursday November 3: Marseille, France

Friday November 4: Barcelona, Spain.

If you live in any of these cities and want to come and meet up with us, please send me an e-mail at or reach out to me via Twitter @PhilHanCNN.

soundoff (22 Responses)

    No money, no futher? But you Italians are still luckier than Chinese. Your government can serve you, but in China, there are many people are still under starvation. Higher commodity price, lower social security system and salary, we are struggling to survive.

    November 3, 2011 at 4:37 am |
  2. flyer

    Kristen, are you sure what you are saying? I have been living in US, Italy and China. Personal opinion, in Italy normal people are living in frozen condition without hope (senza futura), but in China, even though the living condition for poorer people is still far from satisfied, people can still hold the good expectation about tomorrow, and that is why Chinese people are hard working generation by generation, totally not as Italians lying on the beach waiting for governments dropping poco soldi in their pockets to buy food.

    November 3, 2011 at 5:29 am |
  3. flyer

    This irresponsible government or incapable parliament was elected by majority of population in Italy over and over again. They chose this policy makers, chose this life styles, chose their philosophy, then they have to also take the consequences that come up with for decades. Comparison with their northern neighbors, they deserve the recession and suffering.

    November 3, 2011 at 5:41 am |
  4. Saoirse

    edit: say more

    November 3, 2011 at 5:51 am |
  5. Max

    Yes CNN, Europe and the Euro is all so terrible and Italians and Greece should all leave there terrible countries. Who cares about interviewing American people on US problems right. The US with the highest debt the world has ever seen. The US with 43 States in massive financial trouble of their own. The Fact that US Youth unemployment is above 25%. The fact that the US infrastructure systems are quickly falling behind the rest of the developed world and not even close to enough money for the maintenance of the existing infrastructure. The Fact that the US education system is falling behind the developed world just as much. And a whole list of other major problems at play.

    But don`t put that on Camera. Don`t ask those questions!!! Just Pretend only Greece and other Southern European nations are in trouble and everything is hopeless. DON`T interview the people who think Italy has opportunities and is doing better on other fronts. Don`t interview the +70% of school going teenagers who actually have jobs or the 91.4% of total Italians who have Jobs (higher then the United States). Facts like that are just NOT interesting to report.

    November 3, 2011 at 6:13 am |
  6. yuki

    euro is becoming weaker and weaker

    November 3, 2011 at 6:37 am |
  7. Julia666

    It is very difficult problem for Italian youth. I'm worry about Europe and European's future.

    November 3, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  8. WOG

    Flyer!! Italians waiting around for money to drop from the sky??
    And you say you lived there?
    Italians are a nation of hard working and proud people, thanks to a well organized political circus in the 90's (which saw politicians disappear with billions in tax money) every italian has lost confidence and interest in any political party! especially my generation! Most of us moved overseas the others just don't care! Italy has been a sinking boat since the 80's, the fuel agreements made with north africa and the opening of nation all boarders that occurred in those years is a good example of how fucced up we are. Anyhow flyer you are a racist and an ignorant :)

    November 3, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  9. Truth

    Flyer, judging at your poor attempt to throw in a few (incorrect) words and your absolutely stereotypical image of Italy, I will not only call you out as a liar, but I'll also go as far as saying that you probably never left your little redneck town, let alone your country. As for someone who really lived and worked in Milan, i can say that Italians are VERY hard working people plagued by an incompetent government made up of a pathetic left wing and an uneducated, oblivious right wing who lives in it's own fairy tale.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  10. Truth

    Want to see really lazy people who do nothing all day? Go to my native Elephant and Castle in London on a wednesday afternoon. Unemployed and unemployable people in their 30s-40s as far as the eye can see.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  11. flyer

    Then please tell all of us, what nationality those politicians are holding, who voted them to step into THE office, and who continuously allowed them to screw up the country, why so many people from north to south worship their PM and his life style some maybe secretly, why there are so many immigrants from Philippine, east Europe and Africa working on those available jobs which are not willingly taken by Italians because of request of hard-working with bad condition. Maybe you are one of the italian elites, but you dumped your own beloved country instead of trying to change it and lead it onto a correct way. As an italian, you even don't care to save this country, who else will? This is what I mean about local people living in the bottom society, because all of good brainers like you are leaving for your own goodness.

    November 3, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  12. Truth

    First off, I am British, secondly if you had any idea of how politics in Italy worked you would understand that there was never any real alternative to Berlusconi. the Left wing is mostly made up of small, meaningless parties that cannot agree on anything, let alone form an alliance whilst the right wing, even though incompetent, was able to form a relatively stable block (until now), assuring their victory election after election.

    November 3, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  13. Truth

    " why there are so many immigrants from Philippine, east Europe and Africa working on those available jobs which are not willingly taken by Italians because of request of hard-working with bad condition." Simple, because italian workers want to be payed a minimum wage and have certain benefits, whilst the immigrants you describe will do the same job illegally for less than minimum wage and no benefits, which means that employers prefer to employ these immigrants so reduce costs and by keeping them as "disposable" labour.

    November 3, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  14. Italian Guest


    my family and friends are all working 40+ hours a week, often in bullying conditions, without the "anglosaxon" respect and rules in the workplace (forget about sueing), pining for the renewal of 6-months contracts, sent from one side to the other of the country at will – earning an average of 1,300-1,500 per month, based in a a city (Milan) which has been listed by Forbes as the 11th most expensive in the world, submit to a 42% tax on their income. Those of them who are self-employed (a disappearing category) take home only €400 every €1,000, after tax deduction. Some are currently in the care of the shrink. Two emigrated.

    None of them had much choice with the elections: you obviously don't know about the current italian electoral law. You vote either for right or left and your vote is taken and used at will by the coalition's leader. Thus it's either Berlusconi or an ineffective coalition of leftist often shady figures. Or annull your vote (as I did).

    If any of my relatives and friends read your post, they would wish to meet you – wholeheartedly. They'd teach you something about North vs South stereotypes.

    November 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  15. Roger

    WOG and Truth, thank you for responding to flyer and for the very good posts! To flyer, please, do shut up because you don't have a clue of what is going on in Italy!

    November 3, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  16. GILL

    It amazing to see the amount of unemployed flocking to Canada now for work! Canada has also opened up a new program that if your a skilled worker or have a medical degree, your application to become a Can Citizen only takes one year now instead of three. Quite attractive if you ask me, we have our problems as well, but at least we're not being completely taxed to death like a lot of countries . Well yet anyways...I hope the problems work out in the UK soon. Such a beautiful place to see corrupted by politics and Government....

    November 3, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  17. Truth

    Canada has always been an interesting option, I am starting to think that Canada is what the UK tried (and failed) to be all along.
    Don't worry about the UK, we've pulled ourselves out of worse situations in the past and we'll best even this crisis. Right now there are others who need all the support they can get.

    November 3, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  18. yoda0000

    better learn chinese real soon

    November 3, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  19. Mark

    they sure don't "look" poor to me. Maybe they still ask for money to their parents and here it is! the real problem: the moment you allow the politicians to hire in the public sector ad libitum and regardless, to gain popularity and votes then it will only be a matter of time before the new generation will not fit in. It's easy to fix actually: italians show great potentials but they must go back to work, make a decision (do they want to protect useless workers to do nothing or accept the challenges of a modern western Country and the laws of the market). Stop wasting all that money , stop paying people just because and make them go back to work: problem is that the politicians don't want to do it (obviously) : da "people" must do it. Good luck and keep wearing nice clothes in style, the style only Italians have.

    November 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  20. icon designs

    It is simply matchless :)

    October 10, 2012 at 12:51 am |

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About Business 360

CNN International's business anchors and correspondents get to grips with the issues affecting world business, and they want your questions and feedback.

Powered by VIP