Corruption will end
2014 brought a trio of high-profile corruption cases, starting with Milan’s Expo 2015 trade fair and the Moses flood barrier project in Venice.
The “Mafia Capitale” investigation – which brought evidence of a criminal organization infiltrating Rome’s city hall – was the final straw.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi rolled out new laws, while the country’s anti-corruption chief announced new plans to convince companies to stay clean.
After decades of scandals costing millions of euros, The Local hopes Italians will embrace the new changes and cast corrupt politicians and business owners aside.
Envelopes stuffed with cash? Oh so very last year.
Jobs will be granted on merit
We spent much of 2014 talking about Matteo Renzi’s Jobs Act, part of his reform package which aimed to tackle Italy’s growing unemployment crisis.
Supporters of the bill said making it easier to fire and hire staff will create a more flexible job market, while those opposed said it stripped workers of their rights.
We optimistically see 2015 as being the year when Italian jobseekers are at long last valued for their qualifications and experience, rather than who they know. Fair competition will lead to a new level of productivity within companies and public administration, while good service will come as standard.
With unemployment plummeting, foreign businesses will rush to invest in Italy and émigrés will be drawn back home.
Italy will become a wifi hub
Ever seen a “wifi here” sign in Italy and tried to log on? Good luck with that.
Italy in 2014 continued to be one of the worst places in Europe to get online. Compared to other countries, the internet is slow and often hard to find outside of urban centres.
Within cities, those wifi signs have until now been more aspirational than an indication of service.
But now that Italy has a tech-savvy prime minister (he’s on Twitter, at least), it’s about time the country caught up.
The government’s digital agenda will likely help, but we’re putting our faith in the young Italians who can’t take a few steps without posting a selfie of themselves on Facebook.
By the end of 2015 The Local predicts every wifi hotspot will bring internet speeds to rival Silicon Valley.
Italy will celebrate its multicultural identity
High immigration and the financial crisis are a recipe for xenophobia, which in Italy and elsewhere has resulted in growing hostility towards outsiders.
Anti-immigrant speeches by right-wing politicians may currently be a crowd-pleaser, but this will be short-lived.
Italy’s economy is due to return to growth next year – in part boosted by the net contribution from foreigners – bringing with it a more welcoming view of immigrants.
The Italian word extracomunitario (non-EU) will no longer be thrown around in negative terms, but will be used simply to refer to someone who isn’t European.
If Renzi keeps his promise, babies born in Italy will have the right to Italian citizenship as children. A new generation of multilingual, multicultural Italians will be born and welcomed by their neighbours.
The Italian mafia will be defeated
Italy’s Camorra, Cosa Nostra and ‘Ndrangheta mafias have crippled parts of the country for decades.
Huge profits from the global drugs trade have been reinvested through Italy’s financial capital, Milan, while other mafia means such as protection rackets continue to this day.
But if Italy cracks down on corruption and enables the legal economy to create a prosperous country, mobsters will be forced to go elsewhere.
It’s no small task – the Italian mafias are among the most powerful criminal organizations in the world – but The Local has high hopes.
What are your predictions for Italy in 2015? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, or email us.