Child Labour Returns To Italy

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Recent figures from Eurostat announced unemployment across europe has risen for 10 months straight, but the way people are coping is getting more desperate especially after hearing the suicide story from Greece. Le Monde ran a story from Naples, Italy where thousands of kids are leaving school to work up to 12 hours a day.

Under the headline “Child Labour Re-emerges in Naples”, the article describes how thousands of children have been forced to quit school and find jobs in order to help feed their families in the southern Italian metropolis. The article cites a local government report from 2011 which noted that 54,000 children left the education system in the Campania region between 2005 and 2009. Some 38 percent of these children were less than 13 years old.

The article goes on to record how child labour has become a fact of life in the region, with small children involved in a broad range of occupations. The deputy mayor of Naples is cited as saying: “Of course, we were the poorest region in Italy. But we haven’t seen a situation like this since the end of the Second World War… At age 10, these kids are already working 12 hours a day, which is a clear breach of their right to development”.

The Le Monde article points out that the desperate plight of children and youth in the region is a direct result of the austerity measures and financial “reforms” introduced by a succession of Italian governments. These have sharply reduced or eliminated access to federal welfare benefits for the unemployed and poor.

The main support for young people and their families in the region is provided by local associations, which are increasingly being starved of funding. The article notes that 20,000 workers in such schemes in the Campania region have not received pay for the past two years.

The re-emergence of child labour is not an Italian question. Two hundred years after the birth of the novelist Charles Dickens, who graphically portrayed the consequences of such practices, child labour is a problem which now confronts all of Europe. It is a devastating indictment of the political consensus in Europe, including social democratic parties and the trade unions, which back the European Union and its policies.

Source: Globalresearch


Greece For Sale On ebay


Spotted the following article on ZeroHedge. A greek citizen with a sense of humour has just put his country up for sale and has generously throw in 300 politicians along with other perks.

I’m offering my country for sale. What is left of it anyway. Slightly used, low wages, low pensions,  low expectations. Lots of sunshine though, free at the moment.

Many natural resources, minerals etc that are still untouched. Bureaucracy at its best. Great bribe-to-do system, over 20 years of experience.

Obedience at the IMF, bankers and the Troika is guaranteed, no questions asked.

The buyer will get for free 300 politicians, highly trained at the University of  Fine Arts of Scandals. And free Greek Bonds with extremely high international market value. For confetti.

I will provide the best possible certificate that you will ever imagine, maybe even a custom one that you’ll ask.

No hard feelings.


UK Housing Market Due Serious Correction


The Mail today ran a story on the serious state of the UK housing market. Although there was a correction in 2008, some areas of the country are back up  at pre 2008 levels and are selling way above the normally safe level of 3.5 average yearly earnings.

Since 2008, prices have fallen back, but only a little. In those areas of the country least affected by recession – yes, London, I’m looking at you – house prices are already back to their peak. In the hottest areas of town, prices have almost certainly exceeded previous peak levels. The changes to stamp duty introduced in the budget may shave a prices of the most expensive homes by a fraction, but only by a fraction. The simple fact is that, while our real economy stagnates or falters, we live with a property market almost as hot as it was in the burning heat of 2007. That heat wasn’t justified then and it isn’t justified now. The sombre truth is that we were due a property crash in 2008-09 and got little more than a splutter and pause.

The cause of the property bubble has been easy cheap credit similar to Global property bubble elsewhere that have popped spectaclorily in the last few years, i.e Ireland, Spain, US etc. The cheap money pumped into the economy by the BOE has only created more dangerous bubbles and has not helped the economy. What happens when they finally go bust?

Prices are high because money is still being pumped relentlessly into the economy by the Bank of England. That money hasn’t had much impact on the jobs market: I guess you’ve noticed that. It hasn’t had much impact on business investment or wages or productivity or innovation or infrastructure or business creation or any of the other things which might actually make a long term difference to the economy. Instead, it’s affected three markets to an unhealthy degree. Those markets are the stock market, the bond market and the property market.

You’ll already have noticed the buoyancy of the stockmarket. You’ve probably thought how come the market is trading at four-year highs when the economy is deep into its second recession in the space of four years.

You’ll already have noticed the strength of the bond market. You’ll have wondered how come the government can borrow money at little more than 2% when its deficit is gaping and the economy is getting smaller, not bigger.

Unfortunately a correction must take place eventually and when it does it also needs to make up for the minor correction that took place in 2008/2009.The injection of cash from the BOE stalled the property market from crashing that time by inevitably it can’t hold it off forever.

The sad fact, however, is that market is every bit as warped as the other two. And when a market has lost touch with reality, reality has a nasty habit of biting back. That doesn’t just mean a return to long-run sustainable levels. It means a dip below those levels, before a sustainable level can be found.

That dip will be protracted, bloody – and furiously resisted by the banks who will demand further bailouts to protect their business models.


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