It is a country overwhelmed by the subculture of nihilism, distrust of institutions and the inability to imagine its own future, the one photographed by Eurispes's 2014 Italy Report, presented to the press today. A nation in which a radical skepticism prevails over the possibility of coming out of the crisis, but which is also making great strides in some sectors that, if adequately valued, could drive our economy.
These are the 5 most important points that emerge from the survey.
1. Excellence to be valued
Italy is experiencing a black moment in its history, and there is no doubt about this. But all is not lost and we are by no means a country with no future. The figures say it: culture, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism continue to be the pillars of our economy and even in the last year they have registered positive growth, creating innovation and jobs.
While recession and austerity policies bring down domestic demand, Italian industry has overtaken, in the last 5 years, the foreign turnover of Germany and France, reaching - in the last two years - a foreign trade balance of over 100 billion of dollars (a record that is common only to China, Germany, Japan and South Korea). Italian agriculture is copied throughout the world for its standards of excellence and its international falsification covers a turnover of 60 billion euros a year. In Europe, we are second for number of nights of foreign tourists, only to Spain. And all this despite the huge bureaucratic obstacles that Italian companies have to face to stay afloat.
2. The fourth week syndrome
However, the propulsive push of the Made in Italy does not limit the contraction in domestic consumption . Faced with a generalized pessimism about the country's economic conditions (88.1% of Italians believe they have worsened in the last year) there are dramatically real needs: 30.8% of the population does not arrive at the end of the month with their own revenue, 51.8% succeed only by using their own savings to pay off mortgage or rent. One in four has used a bank loan in the last 3 years.
69.9% of Italians have experienced a loss of purchasing power in the last year: they cut up gifts, meals away from home, holidays, car expenses. And the installment payments for the purchase of household appliances, cars, but also to cover medical treatment are increasingly favored.
3. How expenses change: our surveys
Focus, in collaboration with Eurispes and Dacia, conducted a survey of 2696 users from the readership community to understand how, over the past year, the crisis has changed our buying habits. What emerges is a country more attentive to offers, discounts and promotions (92.8% of respondents); consumers who do not renounce to quality and prefer zero-km products (47.6%) to save money; who choose low-cost (61.8%) but not for food, organic food or technological equipment, for which you are willing to invest more: 41.5% are unwilling to buy low-tech cost.
Among those forced to save by force we find singles (28% of our sample). Families made up of one person only purchase with particular attention to price (50.5%) but also to quality (41.1%); they often buy unbranded products (58.6%) in trusted outlets, but do not compromise on quality when it comes to food products (43.5%) that they often buy at zero km (47%). Attentive and aware, they pay attention to innovation (80.1%) and respect for the territory associated with the product (72.5%) when it comes to choosing a product. They use the web to find out about the validity of technological equipment, holidays, telephone operators. And, in half the cases, to make their purchases.
4. Detachment from the institutions, Europe and ethical issues
The economic difficulties of the Italians manifest themselves in a progressive impoverishment of the middle class (1/3 of the Italian society is constituted by the middle class at risk of poverty) and by a growing distrust towards the institutions . Seven out of ten Italians report moving away from them and almost half of the country does not seem to have a clear political orientation. They save themselves with difficulty, but without reaching 50% of the votes, Quirinale and Magistratura (while more and more parties and trade unions lose their trust, respectively, only 6.5% and 19.2% of citizens). Increase in the confidence placed in schools (53.6%) and the Church (49%, 12.4% more than in 2013), the latter thanks to the disruptive " Bergoglio effect ": the Pontiff receives transversal appreciation for age groups and marital status and is loved by 87% of Italians.
On Europe and the single currency the positions are still diametrically opposed: 62.5% believe that the European Union is still young and that more effort is needed to make it work; 24.1% consider the support offered to it by Italy to be excessive, and 25.7% would like the euro to be released.
Asked about important ethical issues, 89.5% of Italians say they are in favor of using stem cells for medical treatment; 84% wish the introduction of laws for short divorce, 78.6% would like laws for the protection of unmarried couples and a little less than half (47.7%) would allow marriage between people of the same sex. 75.9% favored assisted fertilization and 71.7% were living wills; 63.5% expressed themselves in favor of the abortion pill and 58.9% of euthanasia.
5. Animal friends, food choices and free time
The survey also focused on the relationship between Italians and the animal world . Four out of ten have received at least one animal at home (11.9% more than one). The most beloved continues to remain the dog (chosen by 53.7% of the population), while 45.8% chose the cat as a domestic companion. Maintaining them does not cost much: half of the Italians spend less than 1 euro a day on food destined for them, while the cost for the veterinarian is limited to 100 euros a year. According to a survey by the National Federation of Italian Veterinary Orderers, the crisis has reduced the Italian veterinarians ' costs, who have cut on expensive treatments and surgeries for their animals, and have increased requests for help to entrust their four-legged friends no longer able to maintain them.
There is also sensitivity towards the animal world (but also healthy motivations) which are the basis of the food choices of the interviewees, who in 6.5% of cases declare themselves vegetarians and in 0.6% of vegan cases. 81.6% say they are against vivisection and 85.5% use animals to produce fur. Just under half is against the existence of zoos.
As for the games, the "Gratta e vinci" is the most loved (31.8% play at least once a year); but 10.1% lost a lot of money at the game, with the risk of gambling addiction just around the corner. Only one Italian out of three practices sport regularly, perhaps also because of the crisis: in fact, the most sporty are the Italians of the North West, the most affluent area of the boot. Although many, 18.9% choose to practice sports at home at no cost, perhaps following ad hoc videotutorial. Stadium sport is best viewed from home, with Pay per View (chosen by 32.5% of respondents); little is spent, however, to follow live sports: 56.9% admitted that they had not spent anything in the last year for the purchase of tickets in the stadiums.
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