Today in Italy: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

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Today in Italy: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Ten million Italians are expected to travel this Easter. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP.

Ten million Italians to travel over Easter, EU raises competition fears over ITA-Lufthansa deal, rain to clear up by weekend, and more news from Italy on Tuesday.


Italy's top story on Tuesday:

10.5 million Italians are expected to be on the move over Easter, according to a survey conducted by hotel owners' association Federalberghi.

The vast majority - 92 percent - plan to go on holiday within Italy, with seaside towns the most popular destination (32.5 percent), closely followed by cultural destinations (28.9 percent) and mountains (21.8 percent).

"For us, the Easter holidays are a dress rehearsal for the high season... we can consider this decent performance a good starting point for the summer of 2024," said Federalberghi President Bernabò Bocca, quoted by news agency Ansa.

Italian holidaymakers are expected to spend an average of 3.6 days away and spend 371 euros per person, generating an expected total turnover of 3.9 billion euros.

EU objects to ITA-Lufthansa deal 

The European Commission has raised objections to German airline Lufthansa's plans to buy a 41-percent minority stake in Italian flag carrier ITA, citing competition concerns.

The body on Monday warned Italy's economy ministry that it was concerned about the possibility of an increase in prices and a decline in services, reported financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, and that it might further strengthen ITA's already dominant position at Milan's Linate airport.

Lufthansa and the ministry have until April 26th to respond to the commission's concerned with suggested remedies.

Italy's economy ministry said in a press note on Monday that it was "ready to propose constructive solutions" and that it remained "confident that the operation will be approved".


Almost six million people in Italy living in poverty in 2023 

Some 5.7 million people were living in a state of "absolute poverty" in 2023, according to estimates published by Italy's national statistics office (Istat) on Monday.

8.5 percent of families had a monthly expenditure below that required to maintain a minimum standard of living, the data showed - a slight increase on 8.3 percent in 2022.

Poorer households were most concentrated in the south of the country, where 10.3 percent of families were in absolute poverty, followed by the north (8 percent) and the centre (6.8 percent).

Around 1.3 million minors belonged to families living in poverty, data showed - a figure amounting to 14 percent of young people, the highest share since 2014.


Rain to clear up by Easter weekend

Many parts of Italy woke up to rain on Tuesday morning as a cold air front moved in, bringing precipitation and strong winds to much of the country, as well as snow in the Alps, meteorologists said.

Rain will persist in many areas until Thursday in most areas, when mild spring-like conditions will return, said forecaster Antonio Sanò, the founder of the website.

Easter should be mainly bright everywhere and Easter Monday picnics and excursions "should not be affected by a sprinkling of showers", said Sanò.

The Easter weekend was expected to be particularly warm in southern Italy, with temperatures reaching the mid twenties.


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