November 3rd, 2011
03:11 AM GMT
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 Phil.Han@cnn.com or reach out to me via Twitter @PhilHanCNN.
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