The happy singing in Italy stops as fear of poverty grips Italians, Italy

Martinez

The happy singing in Italy stops as fear of poverty grips Italians

Until a few days back, Italians were dancing and singing their hearts out from their balconies to keep the positivity alive amid the COVID-19 lockdown.The countrymen sang and played music to keep the spirit alive. They came together and sang “Everything will be alright” (Andrà tutto bene) continuously for three weeks. But suddenly, the singing has stopped as the fear of poverty has taken over the hearts of people who are locked inside. Social unrest is mounting, especially in the poor section of south Italy. People are realising that everything is not alright.

Salvatore Melluso, a priest at Caritas Diocesana di Napoli said, “Now people are more afraid – not so much of the virus, but of poverty. Many are out of work and hungry. There are now long queues at food banks.”

People are no longer singing or dancing on the balconies because, clearly, they are afraid about their future. Though the death rate in south Italy is not as high as compared to the northern regions, it is poorer and the pandemic is having a serious impact on livelihoods of people across the country.

The happy singing in Italy stops as fear of poverty grips Italians

The poor population of the southern regions of the country, including Campania, Calabria, Sicily and Puglia, is running out of food and money. The small shop owners at these places are being pressured to give food for free and thefts have been reported from inside supermarkets. Besides, several small businesses in the regions may never reopen. Meanwhile, officials are worried that the rising poverty might allow the mafia to take advantage of the situation and a number of people might join gangs.

The lockdown might extend till Easter and is going to largely affect the estimated 3.3 million people in Italy. Amid the growing social unrest, Giuseppe Conte, the Italian Prime Minister, has promised to immediately release €4.3bn (£3.8bn) from a solidarity fund to all municipalities and an additional €400m to mayors for conversion into food vouchers.

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