Life is no longer so sweet in the land of “la dolce vita,” with a report finding that more than 11 percent of Italian families now live in relative poverty.
Eight million Italians, out of a population of 60 million, are struggling to make ends meet, according to Istat, the national statistics agency, on July 17.
Of those, 3.4 million are living in absolute poverty, representing 5.7 percent of the population, up from 5.2 percent in 2010. The problem is worst in the sun-baked south, where one in four families now live below the poverty line.
The technocrat government of Mario Monti is implementing wide-ranging economic reforms to try to tackle the country’s 1.9 trillion euro (NT$70 trillion) national debt, including raising taxes and cutting public services.
The Monti government hopes to cut spending by 25 billion euros in the next three years, as it tries to rein in the euro zone’s second highest public debt.
As businesses struggle to survive or fail altogether, the overall level of unemployment has surpassed 10 percent, while among young people aged 15 to 24 it has reached 35 percent.
1. make ends meet v. phr.
收支平衡 (shou1 zhi1 ping2 heng2)
例: They were finding it hard to make ends meet.
2. technocrat n.
技術專家官員 (ji4 shu4 zhuan1 jia1 guan1 yuan2)
例: Egypt’s President Morsi is seeking to form a technocrat government that will be able to implement his programs and polices.
3. rein in v. phr.
控制 (kong4 zhi4)
例: The government has failed to rein in public spending.