Southern Italy has lost 600,000 jobs over the past six years and the area has lost some 43.7 billion euros of its gross domestic product (GDP) during the economic crisis, a report shows.
The data was released on Friday by the country’s industrial employers’ association Confindustria.
The association also said that the decline in GDP was slowing and that the business confidence was beginning to show signals of recovery.
However, Italy’s National Statistics Bureau (ISAT) released figures on December 23, which showed that the business confidence index fell more than expected for December to 96.2.
The December figure was well under the median forecast of 98.8 in a survey of analysts conducted by Reuters.
Italy, the eurozone’s third largest economy, has been struggling to come out from its worst postwar recession with falling incomes and unemployment over 12 percent.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano warned earlier this month that the country may suffer from violent social disorder if reforms are not adopted to help citizens.
Napolitano said at the time that people “could get involved in haphazard and even violent protests in an extreme and unfruitful surge of total opposition to politics and institutions.”
According to another survey released by ISTAT on December 16, one third of the country’s population are in danger of poverty or social exclusion.
Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone as tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes have stirred serious concerns for many people already grappling with the ailing economy.
Italians have been staging protests against high unemployment, economic adversity and hardship over a series of government-imposed austerity packages in the recent past.
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