Poverty In Italy Rises To All Time High

Tyler Durden's picture

What can one say but: "because of the recovery?"

As Italy's ISTAT reported yesterday, poverty in Italy has reached its highest level in at least 16 years "as the economic crisis has bitten, driving up unemployment and cutting wages, according to a report on social cohesion issued on Monday. Relative poverty, defined as a family of two living on a monthly income of 991 euros (847.61 pounds) or less, affected 12.7 percent of families, the highest level recorded since the current series of data began in 1997, the report by statistics agency ISTAT said."

It was immediately unclear if this beat expectations of a 13% print, and thus was bullish for the Stalingrad and Propaganda 500.

The report, a compendium of data on issues ranging from employment to demographics, said poverty had deepened in all areas of Italy between 2011 and 2012. Relative poverty rose from 4.9 percent to 6.2 percent in the richer north and from 23.3 percent to 26.2 percent in the poorer south.

More from Reuters:

The report painted a grim picture of the impact of the country's worst post-war recession, with joblessness at record levels, incomes squeezed and permanent, full-time employment declining. "As one of the countries most affected by the crisis, Italy registered a progressive decline in the main macroeconomic and social indicators in 2012," Labour Minister and former ISTAT chief Enrico Giovannini said in the introduction to the report.


"Nonetheless social cohesion has held up, enabling the country to support sacrifices aimed at recovering financial stability and passing important reforms," he said.

Well as long as "social cohesion" has held up, i.e., no civil war has broken out yet, all is well. Then again, some disagree:

The relatively optimistic tone contrasted sharply with recent comments from employers' federation Confindustria, which warned this month that the recession had inflicted damage on the Italian economy comparable to that left by a war.


The hardships caused by unemployment and measures taken to keep straining public finances under control have fed mounting discontent, typified by a long series of occasionally violent street protests earlier this month.


Unemployment in Italy is at its highest level since at least the late 1970s with the overall jobless rate at 12.5 percent and youth unemployment as high as 41.2 percent in October, according to the latest ISTAT figures.

With recoveries like these, who needs depress... hey - look over there, the FTSE MIB is up 20% for 2013!

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The answer to any 'news' of this sort from anywhere in the world is always the same.

"But the US stock market made new highs today."

GetZeeGold's picture



Time to Bunga Bunga!


What the hell....we're already on double secret probation.


This form of government is great......what do you call it again?

BoNeSxxx's picture

This and any other fallout from the Grand Euro Experiment will be used to strengthen the European Union as a binding political entity...


So, it won't.

i-dog's picture

It's sad that "the Roaring Twenties" - with the Hollywood depiction of soaring stock markets and duelling gangsters - is seen as a mark of a successful society.

It could even be said that the soaring stock market was an engineered distraction from the rampant corruption and gangsterism that directly arose from the "War on Alcohol".

Seems strangely familiar....

thunderbolt7's picture

I have a terrific financial plan!  The lotery. It hasn't worked yet, but I'm young, and by the time I retire .....

Ghordius's picture

blablabla "fallout from euro experiment" my left pocket

meaning that moar debt and moar deficit spending makes everybody richer... forever?

one of the hidden truths behind those statistics is that Italy is one of the few "First World" countries that seriously "fixed" it's pension system, even more solidly than the northern european countries

which of course means that a pensioner in Italy gets very, very little from his Social Security equivalent. and Italy is one of the most "gray" countries of the world. note the picture: how old are those two ladies?

Italy is taking the pain now, instead in the future. what about your country?

tarsubil's picture

I think that is the way to go. Just push the real problems off a little farther by taking grandma's pension while keeping the systemic corruption. That should work out great. Kinda like when a junky sells grandma's television to buy some aspirin after getting high all night.

Oldwood's picture

Its all in our mind. If we just keep repeating "this IS a recovery and all is well" things will be just fine. Its hard work perpetuating a delusion. We just have to buck up and go with the theme.

Reference Variable's picture

35% unemployment is the magic number. It's all conjecture until they get there.

Shizzmoney's picture

This is an important indicator, but the better indicator of coming social unrest in a failed state, is usually the cost of food-to-income ratio. 

Once that gets to around 35-40%, you get into the "danger zone" (here in America, it's at around 15-20%, depending on where you live, size of family, the type of food, and quality of food, you eat).

What's interesting is that the minute it hit 30% in Tunisia = some guy sets himself on fire and started the Arab Spring.  Goes to show that states with declining social safety nets (or in the case of Tunisia, a theotocrital banana republic) even show a greater risk of unrest (whether it be good or bad).  After their uprising, things are still bad in Tunisia (lack of jobs, food costs still high), but at least they can "speak freely".  I wonder if the CIA gave the Tunisian authorities tips on that one!

samsara's picture

That's the IMF's play book.

TheLoveArtist's picture

Its a simple thing, too many people these days living in a country whose food and other resources are stretched compounded by the fact that the ruling and financial class steal more than their fair share.

falak pema's picture

the old will die faster the young will emigrate; until the "labour slave" arbitrage brings back work to third world Italy. 

Thats the logic of Pax Europa, surrogate of Pax Americana today. 

In the old days we had real war, now we have economic war and depression.

For some its progress... Lets hope so, if this eco-war is not a type of neofeudal reset for the new dark ages! 

But...unlike the AmerKans the Italos don't have control of their currency sitting under Deutsch control. 

PoorByChoice's picture

+1 falak


"comparable to that left by a war"

Europeans are like 1940 americans, in a war but they just will not or cannot accept the fact


The floodgates have been fully opened today for many eastern eu and not quite eu citizens to come to GB.

With our current under 25 unemployment rate there can be only one reason the politicians are happy to do this.

It will ensure the working and middle class indigenous have to knuckle under and accept ever declining standards

of living (although the latest shiny toys and big tv will disguise that fall)



FredFlintstone's picture

My sense is that poverty in the northern and western world is relative. There is absolute, grinding poverty, but probably not in Italy. Think of a lack of education and clean water and the prospect of picking through a garbage heap for a meal as a child. That would be poverty. Have we become soft, dependent, and pampered little creatures?

Oldwood's picture

Yesterday's poverty is today's new prosperity. Just a simple realignment of our thinking will fix everything.

IdeasRbulletproof's picture

Plus marketwatch just told me the MIB is up .06% so, no poverty...

FredFlintstone's picture

Yesterday's poverty was worse at least in the west. It will be beneficial for most everyone's psychological well-being to lower their expectations a little.

PoorByChoice's picture

Yes because we will make the rest of the worlds poor feel so much better when we join them.....

Fool me for wanting a better life for my children!


Do you work for a lady called Christine Lagarde by any chance? She seems to think greek parents sending their mal-nourished children to school are over reacting as well.


And before you flame me yes I have walked along the roads of those crushingly poor 3rd worlders you speak of, my impoverishment will not aid them one jot...

Jason T's picture

Oil folks .. it's going to the East. 

GetZeeGold's picture



So is gold.....those cats are gonna end up owning everything.

killallthefiat's picture

I had popup ads of $180 springblade Adidas tennis shoes.  Sweet, even ZH/google loves the irony.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Mario D will save them

Sizzurp's picture

The worm has really turned.  The west, suffering the ravages of socialism and heavy central economic planning, sees a declining standard of living and increasing poverty.  The east, having lived the marxist nightmare and rejected it, sees economic growth.

GetZeeGold's picture



No worries it's totally gonna work......you know......this time.

NoDebt's picture

Yeah, yeah- they just had the wrong people running their socialist utopia.  We'll do much better because we've got the right people running things.  Like Obama.  

q99x2's picture

Stop using the Euro. The globalists are taking your money and giving it to the military industrial complex in order to drive you into poverty and then crush you. They do this by counterfeiting Euros. Stop using them. Take your power back. The globalists will fall immediately and you will regain your financial independence if you quit giving them your money. Stop using Euros.

samsara's picture

"Nonetheless social cohesion has held up, enabling the country to support sacrifices aimed at recovering financial stability and passing important reforms," he said.

So That's it.   Social Cohesion.   The only thing holding them together.  

Question for us in the US.   How good do you suppose our "Social Cohesion" will be?   

Will the people in South Carolina care what happens in NY?  Will People in Oregon care what happens to people in South Carolina?   Will the people in the Country care what happens to the people in the Cities?

From what I see,  Not much.


Debugas's picture

people will stay calm as long as they have enough food for tomorrow and a shelter to pass the night

Offthebeach's picture

Do Sheeple dream of electric sleep?

Obama will guide us.

Whoa Dammit's picture

Georgia's poverty rates are higher:

Lowest: Forsyth Cointy (north Atlanta suburb) 6.7%

Highest: 47.7% Clay County (Southwest part of the state)

The state average is currently 19.2 %, up from 14.6% in 2008.

Link is subsciption only 


PontifexMaximus's picture

You won't get a free table in Courmayeur, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Alta Badia, Rome etc. Watch sale in Milan and elsewhere and price of last IPO Moncler, it's just bullish.

10mm's picture

Yeah but the Mob will get fresh young soldiers.

shovelhead's picture

Go long Equess Brand meatballs.


yogibear's picture

Pissed-off Europeans need to be attacking the European Central banksters. Treat criminals like criminals.

Fíréan's picture

The pitchforks are coming !

rosiescenario's picture

....some are "recovering" better than others:



Ferrari: strong revenue and profit growth in first 9 months with stable sales

Revenues: 1.711 Million Euro (+6.7%)
• Trading profit: 264.2 Million Euro (+20.2%)
• Net profit: 178.8 Million Euro (+23%)
• Ebitda: 454 Million Euro (+15%)
• Record industrial net cash position: 1.350 Million Euro
• Homologated cars delivered: 5,264 in line with 2012
• A new Company is being created to manage brand-related activities

Maranello, 8th November 2013 – The Ferrari S.p.A. Board of Directors met today under the chairmanship of Luca di Montezemolo to examine the financial results for the first nine months of 2013.

Ferrari’s strategic decision announced last May - to reduce volumes and maintain exclusivity while also increasing revenues - has already begun to yield its first results. While deliveries to the dealership network have remained largely unchanged (5,264, three less compared to the first nine months of 2012), revenues have increased by 6.7 per cent to 1.711 million euro."