Rome: citizens' income and pension reform approved

On Thursday Italy's government approved the implementation of two central election promises: the citizens' income, a scheme that could benefit millions of people. And a pension reform that could lower the age of retirement for around 350,000 Italians. The Italian press is sceptical.

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Avvenire (IT) /

The young will foot the bill again

The Catholic daily Avvenire sees the citizens' income and the pension reform as potentially useful social measures but nonetheless draws attention to the downsides:

“The government is gambling for high stakes at a time when the economic situation in all Europe and in Italy is deteriorating and the spectre of recession has reappeared. ... Even if the passing of the decree ultimately represents a social turning point for the country, the risks remain in this 'big gamble': without development measures and with an uncertain outcome in the fight against unemployment, who will foot the bill? Once again the young generation, whose debt burden will grow even heavier?”

La Repubblica (IT) /

A lure before the European elections

These decisions are just propaganda in the run-up to the European elections, rails journalist Massimo Giannini in La Repubblica:

“After the long negotiations between the coalition partners we must give Di Maio and Salvini credit for securing the two trophies with which they want to win the European elections. ... It doesn't matter that the risk is high; that in the end the ballot boxes may be almost full, but the citizens' wallets will remain empty. They have achieved their goal. They have honoured their election promises. ... Lega was fixated on the pension reform, Cinque Stelle on the citizens' income. So in the view of the proud contracting parties of the government pact, a blank check had to be issued for the two schemes. No matter what the cost.”