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Eurozone’s big four to tackle joblessness

Italy, France, Germany and Spain's labour and economy ministers will meet on June 14th in Rome for talks on unemployment which will focus particularly on jobless youth, Italy said on Wednesday.

Eurozone's big four to tackle joblessness
Photo: Daniel Roland/AFP

"This meeting, the first of its kind, will allow an exchange of opinions and facilitate coordination ahead of the next international meetings," such as the European Councils of June 27th and 28th, the government said in a statement.

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta hopes the talks will help "define a European employment policy", it said.

The eurozone unemployment rate hit a fresh record high of 12.2 percent in April, with 19.2 million people on the dole as recession continued to sap the economy.

In Italy, the eurozone's third-largest economy, youth unemployment rose to 40.5 percent, with an estimated 656,000 Italians aged 15 to 24 looking for a job.

In Greece, two out of three youngsters were without jobs, one out of two in Spain and two out of five in Portugal.

"The meeting with the eurozone's four bigs… is based on an awareness that a rapid improvement in the job market is indispensable to relaunching European economic growth," the government said.

Themes on the table will include "how to strengthen coordination between financial and labour policies at a national and European level, to boost the fight against unemployment, particularly among the young."

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ROME

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.

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