Italiener werden

P1190690One of those company conferences, where new products are presented and financial ambitions for the new fiscal year are cascaded. The seating order changes session after session, and at 11.00 my neighbor is Georg, thirty and Viennese. (I just noticed that all the Georgs I know are Austrian…interesting coincidence).

After a couple of small talk sentences (“We met in June at the new inno center, nice to see you again…how are things digital, fast-paced change uh?”) Georg chips in in Italian “Ho fatto la Bocconi, sai? Ho vissuto 3 anni in Italia. Volevo diventare Italiano!”.

This sentence, I wanted to become Italian, popped in in our conversation at least another couple of times. Georg speaks Italian without accent, shops for his furniture still today in Udine, and loves Friuli. He now lives in Dusseldorf but his Italian has remained top notch.

He tried hard, but when it came to finding a fulfilling work, he had to go back to DACH. He treasures his experience in Italy, loves Milan, and did his master there as well “Ma non si puo’ lavorare, purtroppo”.

He then tells me about his recent visit to Slovakia where he met a few Italians who work in accounting or IT at salaries which are lower than those paid for the same professions in Germany. “Rather than working in Italy in a fake part-time, I prefer to earn 1,000 Euros in Slovakia and at least work in a more dynamic environment, where I can make a career and move up fast” told him 27yr old Luca.

“E’ un peccato per l’Italia, non trovi?” concludes Georg, before the next session begins. Yes, it is a pity indeed. And no surprise that Italy’s demographic growth has hit the minimum since 1861. And each year more than 100,000 people leave the country…officially.

Is this the future? many Europeans, and many Germans, like to “be a bit Italian”. When it comes to work, many Italians become then German or British or Swiss taxpayers. C’est l’Europe?


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