I focused on Greece in an earlier post, Greece Syndrome Defined. The problem is not limited to Greece.
The New York Times has an interesting article on the problem throughout southern Europe, focusing on the highly educated 20-30 something generation:
Francesca Esposito, 29 and exquisitely educated, helped win millions of euros in false disability and other lawsuits for her employer, a major Italian state agency. But one day last fall she quit, fed up with how surreal and ultimately sad it is to be young in Italy today.The culmination of decades of socialist welfare policies in western Europe coupled with massive and stifling governmental bureaucracy has resulted in more than an economically lost generation.
It galled her that even with her competence and fluency in five languages, it was nearly impossible to land a paying job. Working as an unpaid trainee lawyer was bad enough, she thought, but doing it at Italy’s social security administration seemed too much. She not only worked for free on behalf of the nation’s elderly, who have generally crowded out the young for jobs, but her efforts there did not even apply to her own pension.
“It was absurd,” said Ms. Esposito, a strong-willed woman with a healthy sense of outrage.
Unless we change course, we will leave our children and grandchildren not only feeling sad to live in their own country, but sad to be young. I can think of few things worse than that.
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