Italian president urges 'realistic programmes' ahead of elections

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
Italian president urges 'realistic programmes' ahead of elections
Italian President Sergio Mattarella. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

President Sergio Mattarella has urged parties to put together “realistic programmes”, with a strong emphasis on jobs, ahead of general elections in March.


“Given the scale of the problems our country faces, the duty to make realistic and concrete proposals is a must,” he said during his end-of-year speech.

“I again stress that jobs remain the primary and most serious social issue,” he added.

Italy’s youth unemployment rate stands at around 34 percent, while the overall jobless rate is 11.1 percent. Even though growth is at its highest since 2010 and the number of people in jobs is back to pre-crisis levels, Italy still has one of the most lacklustre economies in Europe.

Thousands of young people leave the country each year in search of work.

Mattarella also called on 18-year-olds to take advantage of their eligibility to vote for the first time amid polls which suggest that 70 percent of young people plan to abstain.

Parliament was dissolved on Thursday ahead of the March 4th elections. The Five Star Movement is leading in the polls, a few points ahead of the centre-left Democratic Party.

The party was previously vehemently against forging coalitions, but now says it will seek post-election alliances should it fail to reach the 40 percent majority required to govern alone.

The party, led by 31-year-old Luigi Di Maio, has also said that candidates under criminal investigation will no longer be exempt from running and that heavy fines will be imposed on those who switch parties once elected.

With the Democratic Party severely divided, a centre-right coalition made up of Forza Italia and the far-right Northern League and Brothers of Italy is currently predicted to win the most seats.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also