Italy is a seismic country.
A real political earthquake has shaken Italy in these last administrative elections, with big cities choosing a M5S mayor despite the Movement’s image of populism and with the widespread defeat of the Democratic Party, interpreted as a vote against the Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi.
Italy is a divided country.
The cleavage between people and the élites is patently clear now: peripheries are voting against the system, and are moving towards either M5S or the Centre-right. It is the sign of the expanding unease which is reshaping into resentment towards the increase of inequalities and the growing disappearance of social protection.
Italy is struggling to exit the crisis.
14% think that the economic is good and only 9% think that the situation will be stronger in the next six months. This context means that the increase in consumption, though (faintly) registered, is always governed by extensive caution.
Italy is nostalgic.
Because the future is stressful, nostalgia seems to prevail for the years of security and steady growth. Here comes insecurity as an existential condition. Where two young people out of three, between the ages of 18 and 34, still living with their family of origin.
Italy is frugal.
In essence people are in a situation in which a recovery in consumer spending can only occur marginally, at the expense of savings. Saving for one’s children, against the risks of the future, only rarely directed at a major purchase. Frugality seems to dominate the citizen’s behavior, partly because recovery doesn’t seem to be consolidated yet.
Italy is pensive.
The most hopeless are the older workers, 50/60 year-olds, close to retirement. 70% imagine themselves in a difficult and worsening economic situation in 10 years, two-thirds also in terms of quality of life (health, social and affective relations …).
Italy likes TV.
TV remains the “queen” and represents the driving force in the media world. In the course of ten years, the national channels broadcast over the air increased tenfold, from 10 to 100. According to an AGCOM study the digital terrestrial platform has the richest offer on the level of volume and variety in all of Europe.
Italy is meeting the Internet.
40% of the Italian population are still excluded from it, especially the elderly age 65-74 and the people who have left the world of work, but also more than half of the very young «digital natives» (6-10 years old). Southern Italy’s delay remains significant.
Italy does not read newspapers much these days.
The sale of daily newspapers has been declining for 8 consecutive years now. At the end of 2014, the daily papers were at 3,2 million copies distributed (vs. 5,4 million in 2007, the year before the great economic downturn).
Italy reshuffles the cards.
The consumer pivots more and more around himself, increasingly foregoing cooperative practices, attending to things personally, building his own increasingly personalized path. With the dissolution of the élite, the centres of authority also fall. That which Gramsci calls their rationality or historicity is lacking.