Italy Report 2022 findings
34TH ITALY REPORT
FOR A “GOOD SOCIETY”
In the historical transition we are experiencing, it is necessary to work towards the construction of a “Good Society” and start again from the Italy that exists and functions in order to build a different idea of the future.
The Italy Report, now in its 34th edition, is structured around 6 chapters, each of which offers a dichotomous reading of the reality examined. Each chapter is illustrated through 6 essays and 60 phenomenological factsheets. Thus, through a dual reading of reality. The Institute addresses themes that it believes to be representative of Italy’s current political, economic, and social situation.
The thematic dualities identified for the 2022 Italy Report are:
CONSERVATION/INNOVATION – PRESENCE/ABSENCE – BACKWARDNESS/MODERNITY ORDINARY/EXTRAORDINARY – CURRENCY/CURRENCIES – UNIVERSE/METAVERSE
To enrich the Report, the sample surveys that, in this year’s edition, examined some of the issues Eurispes has traditionally observed: Trust in Institutions; Presidentialism; international conflicts and the energy crisis; the financial situation of families and consumption; the justice system; new technologies; opinion on ethical issues; the relationship with the animal world; and numerous other topical issues.
In the general remarks that open the Report, the President of Eurispes, Gian Maria Fara, wanted to highlight: “We never thought we would have to present the Italy Report in a situation marked by the addition of the emergency of the Covid pandemic, a tragedy that continues to cause hundreds of victims every day, with the emergency of the war that has unexpectedly opened up on our continent. As the Italian community, we must also reflect today to become aware of the limits of our cognitive systems. One thing is certain: the two emergencies have revealed themselves to the world as surprising, unexpected, unpredictable events. This is the point on which to reflect, thinking about how counter-productive and far removed from any ethical reference is the position of those who have justified their obvious limits of analysis, knowledge and forecasting by defining these emergencies simply as ‘major strategic surprises”.
“Therefore, we find ourselves,’ continues Fara, ‘at a crucial moment of transition, at a point in history charged with uncertainty about the future, and this is particularly true for us, for Europe’. And in this vein: ‘In his speech to the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 3 May, President Mario Draghi wished to draw the lines of the new United States of Europe, giving precise indications for tackling the current crisis, which he described as “at once humanitarian, security, energy and economic”. Therefore, a European federalism that engages the Member States differently than in the past on specific issues that are fundamental for the Union’s very resilience: a single Defence, new energy efficiency and supply policies, revision of the Stability Pact and fiscal rules, common coordination in the management of migratory flows and, lastly, a new openness within Europe to accelerate the entry into the Union not only of Ukraine, but also of other countries in the East, and last but not least, the need to overcome the unanimity clause in strategic decisions. Even more important is the role of dialogue and mediation that Europe must occupy in the international scenario’.
“In the historical passage we are living through,” concludes the President of Eurispes, “we must work towards the construction of a ‘Good Society’. This means, beyond any possible ideological revival or temptation, acting for the identification and agreement of the balancing point of true social cohesion. A new social pact based on the affirmation or, better, the reaffirmation of those human values indicated by the Italian Constitution on ethical-social relations; values expressed as rights and duties to solidarity, as responsibility towards oneself and others, as openness to merit.
These last two years, marked first by the pandemic and then by the war in Ukraine, have severely tested the country but, at the same time, have highlighted its capacity, sometimes unexpected, to resist and the value of some of its components. And this is even though there is a political class that does not renounce its old vices and irresponsibly paddles against the stability sought in the current moment of crisis and emergency by the government and the President of the Republic.
There is evidently an Italy that works, that can express a high quality of action. In short, ‘an Italy that is there’, is ready, and it is from here that we can start again’.
CONSENSUS REMAINS HIGH FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, THE POLICE, THE ARMED FORCES AND INTELLIGENCE. SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY ARE STRONG POINTS FOR THE ITALIANS. VOLUNTARY WORK AND CIVIL PROTECTION CONTINUE TO ENJOY WIDESPREAD APPRECIATION. MORE THAN HALF OF ITALIANS TRUST THE CHURCH.
When asked how the level of citizens’ trust in institutions, both public and private, operating in our country at different levels has changed over the last year, three out of ten citizens, 30.3%, reported a decrease in their trust, while only one in ten indicated an increase (10.1%).
Going into the details of the individual institutions, the results of the Eurispes survey produced the following results in terms of trust: President Sergio Mattarella maintains the consensus already expressed by Italians in previous years (55.6%); Parliament collects just over a quarter of the consensus among citizens (25.4%); for the Executive, the supporters are more than three-thirds of Italians (35.1%); the Judiciary is trusted by about four out of ten citizens (41.3%), while those regarding positively the regional presidents account for 38.2% of the sample.
The majority of Italians express confidence in the Carabinieri (55%), and the Guardia di Finanza (59.6%) is also positively regarded. Moreover, 60.3% of citizens appreciate the work of the State Police. The Navy receives the approval of seven out of ten Italians (70.3%), and the Aeronautica Militare sees the number of those who declare themselves confident at 68.7%. The Italian Army obtained 66.5% of the consensus. The Coast Guard, which has been included in the survey since last year, also received a good rating of 69.4%. Our country’s Intelligence obtains the recognition of most of the sample (56.6%).
The Fire Brigade stands at 85.8% of positive judgements, while the Prison Police gets a 59% approval and the Local Police is appreciated in 43.3% of cases.
The School is at 71% of the consensus. A similar result as for the University (75.1%), and the Civil Defence achieves a 79% approval rating. The sentiment that binds citizens to the Church is also strong (54.4%) and, on the other hand, the other religious denominations – i.e. other than the Catholic Church – account for 40% of the number of trustees. Voluntary associations are also highly appreciated (70.7%), and the approval of trade unions comes to 45.2%, while parties are at 29.1% and the public administration at 39.7%. Finally, entrepreneurs’ associations are trusted by 39% of the sample and consumers’ associations by 52.4%.
ITALIANS ARE MORE IN FAVOUR OF THE DIRECT ELECTION OF THE PRIME MINISTER RATHER THAN OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC. GREATER AUTONOMY OF THE REGIONS IS DESIRED BY 67.3% OF CITIZENS. THE PRIME MINISTER DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A POLITICIAN, AS LONG AS HE IS A PERSON SUITED TO THE ROLE (53.3%), HE IS HONEST (24.4%) AND PUTS THE INTERESTS OF THE COUNTRY FIRST (23.9%). FOR 63.8% OF THE ITALIANS, THE PNRR RESOURCES WILL NOT BE USED PROPERLY. MAINTENANCE AND SECURING OF EXISTING WORKS WOULD BE THE MOST URGENT INTERVENTIONS.
President of the Republic: direct election divides the sample in half
Just over half of the Italians (51.5%) are not in favour of introducing direct election of the President of the Republic. Comparing the answers obtained last year, in the 2021 survey, the split between those against and those in favour remains: 50.8% were not in favour, while 49.2% were.
The possibility of the direct election of the Prime Minister is welcomed
The direct election of the Prime Minister, on the other hand, is favoured by 58.1% of citizens (those against are 41.9%).
More power to the government than to the regions? The no front prevails
The issue of more power to the Government over the Regions is also divisive: 51.5% of Italians are not convinced, while 48.5% are in favour.
The autonomy of the Regions: desired by a large majority of citizens
Greater autonomy for the Regions is finally desired by almost 7 out of 10 Italians (67.3% +12.6% compared to the 2021 figure), just under a third of those who say they are against it (32.7%).
Is the role of the President of the Republic evolving?
Around 71.4% of the citizens surveyed believe that the figure of the President of the Republic has not been exercising a role in recent years that goes beyond what is provided for in the Constitution, while 28.6% state that it is.
On the attribution of greater powers and responsibilities to the President of the Republic, 51.7% of Italians say they are little or not at all convinced. But the country is divided by the idea of a presidentialist turn of events, with 48.3% in favour.
The outline of the Prime Minister according to the Italians
At the helm of the country, as Prime Minister, voters say they want, above all, a person who is suitable and suited to the role (53.3%), regardless of whether he or she belongs to or does not belong to politics. In fact, 29.9% of citizens prefer a figure from outside politics, while 16.8% consider a personality from politics to be suitable. Among the most important characteristics, honesty is the first quality indicated by citizens (24.4%), followed by the propensity to put the country’s interests first (23.9%), two characteristics that alone attract almost half of the preferences (48.3%). This is followed by international authority (15.6%), competence (14.6%), the ability to mediate (11.2%), and decision-making (7.2%).
What do Italians think about the Pnrr?
With regard to the Pnrr, 63.8% of Italians do not believe in the correct use of the funds; more than a third of Italians, 36.2%, on the other hand, say they are confident that the resources will be used correctly.
Pnrr, what use for infrastructure resources?
Reportedly, 25.5% of respondents would like resources to be used for the maintenance and safety of existing works, affirming a perceived fragility of our infrastructures. Moreover, 24.8% look to the future, preferring the ecological conversion of existing infrastructures, while 24.5% would like to see interventions aimed at bridging the infrastructural gap in southern Italy. Only 1 in 10 Italians (10.2%) would like funds to be used for the creation of major works.
CURRENTLY, 59.1% OF ITALIANS CONSIDER THE EUROPEAN UNION’S JUDGMENT AND TRUST IN OUR COUNTRY TO BE IMPORTANT. OUR REPRESENTATION IN THE WORLD AND OUR ACHIEVEMENTS IN CULTURE, MUSIC, SPORT, CINEMA AND CUISINE MAKE US PROUD AND UNITE US AS ITALIANS. THE FEARS OF THE ITALIANS AT THE MOMENT FOCUS ON THE FEAR OF A POSSIBLE WORLD CONFLICT (84.3%) AND THE ENERGY CRISIS (87.2%).
Europe’s judgement matters
According to data collected by Eurispes, 59.1% of Italians consider the European Union’s judgement and trust in our country to be important; on the other hand, 40.9% of citizens do not attach importance to this aspect.
Proud to be Italian
Citizens were asked to what extent they feel proud when our country achieves international recognition or success. Recognition in the cultural sphere is experienced by 79.5% of Italians, while 83.6% feel proud of our successes in the music sector. Domestic films that are internationally successful arouse pride in 82.8% of the cases. Victories in Olympic disciplines make 81.9% of Italians proud, while football successes make 72.2% proud. A cuisine exported and copied all over the world is a source of pride for 84.6%, while just under half of Italians feel proud of their country when it comes to international recognition in the political sphere (47%).
The concerns that afflict Italians: international conflicts come first
Looking “outside the home”, 1 out of 4 Italians (25.8%) say they are worried about international conflicts; 19.2% are concerned about rising electricity and gas costs, while job insecurity worries 14.3% of the sample.
Health emergencies and health concerns still trouble 14.3% of citizens and 7.4% fear the possibility of falling ill. The climate crisis is a cause for concern in 6.8% of cases. The security of their city/country worries 3.8% and 3.6% fear immigration.
Energy crisis and conflicts: the eventualities we fear most
Going into even more detail, 84.3% of Italians are worried about the possibility of a world conflict. But the energy crisis worries even more (87.3%). The invasion of Ukraine by Russia worries 83.2% of Italians, while the attitude of some countries such as China, Brazil and India towards the climate emergency is a source of anxiety for 75.7% of citizens. Less worrying seems to be China’s economic expansionism, which in any case causes the concern of more than half of the sample (56.1%).
PRESENTLY 65.9% OF ITALIANS DO NOT TRUST OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM. ONLY 8% BELIEVE THAT JUSTICE WORKS WELL, BAD JUSTICE IS CAUSED, ACCORDING TO CITIZENS, MAINLY BY THE EXCESSIVE SLOWNESS OF TRIALS. WHEN FACED WITH AN HARM THAT COULD BE CONSIDERED A CRIME OR AN OFFENCE, MORE THAN 1 IN 4 CITIZENS PREFER NOT TO REPORT IT. ITALIANS ARE UNITED IN AFFIRMING THAT JUDGES SHOULD BE JUDGED WITH THE SAME SYSTEM APPLIED TO ALL CITIZENS (80.2%), MUCH LESS CONVINCING BUT STILL IN THE MAJORITY IS THE IDEA THAT THE ACTION OF JUDGES IS CONDITIONED BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION (57.8%).
Justice: two out of three citizens do not trust it
Two out of three citizens (65.9%), according to the survey conducted by Eurispes, say they do not trust our judicial system, while 34.1% express their consensus.
Miscarriage of justice in Italy: the main causes
Indeed, 23% of citizens indicated the excessive slowness of trials as the main reason for the malfunctioning of justice, 19.8% replied that citizens are not all equal before the law, 13.6% claimed that the causes are to be found in the absence of certainty of punishment, 12.1% appealed to causes not included among those proposed, 11.9% claimed that the causes are to be found in the wrong choices made by magistrates, 11.6% that laws are inadequate. Finally, only 8% asserted that justice in Italy works well.
Faced with an injustice that can be classified as a crime or an offence, more than 1 in 4 citizens do not report
More than half of the citizens, 52.4%, have never found themselves in a position to defend themselves against a crime or an offence; 20.3% have decided to file a complaint, while the remainder, 27.3%, have preferred not to do so for several reasons: 11% confessed that the inconvenience of legal proceedings outweighed the benefits they would have obtained by filing a complaint, 10.1% said they gave up their intention in order not to incur legal costs, and 6.2% because they were distrustful of the judiciary, from which they thought they would not get redress for what they had suffered.
Responsibility of judges and tasks of justice
About 80.2% of the Italians interviewed maintain that judges should be judged according to the same system applied to all citizens, 78.2% that the first task of justice is to guarantee an adequate punishment for those who have done wrong, 60.5% that the main task of justice is to favour the recovery and social reintegration of those who have been convicted for the errors committed; finally, 57.8% plead that the action of judges is conditioned by political affiliation.
Sanctions and alternative measures to detention
In fact, 84.2% of Italians are not in favour of the reinstatement of capital punishment in our legal system, 75.3% are not in favour of the abolition of life imprisonment, 72.7% are not in favour of early release and 70.5% are not in favour of home detention, probation to social services and home detention.
ITALIANS ARE IN FAVOUR OF THE LEGAL PROTECTION OF DE FACTO COUPLES (67.1%). THE NUMBER OF THOSE IN FAVOUR OF EUTHANASIA IS GROWING AGAIN (FROM 70.4% IN 2021 TO 74.9% IN 2022). THE LIVING WILL REMAINS A WIDELY ACCEPTED OPTION (69.3%). EGALITARIAN’ MARRIAGE FINDS 61.3% OF ITALIANS IN FAVOUR. ADOPTION FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES STILL GENERATES A CERTAIN DEGREE OF CLOSURE: LESS THAN HALF SAY THEY AGREE (48.3%). THE CASE OF OPENING UP TO THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN BY SINGLES, ON THE OTHER HAND, WOULD BE DIFFERENT, WITH POSITIVE OPINIONS PREVAILING (55.8%). HETEROLOGOUS HETEROLOGY IS FAVOURED BY 56.9%, WHILE SURROGATE MOTHERHOOD SEES THE OPPOSITION PREVAIL (63.6%). THE POSSIBILITY OF AUTHORISING SEX CHANGE THROUGH SELF-DECLARATION BY THE PERSON CONCERNED, EVEN WITHOUT MEDICAL CERTIFICATION, FINDS LESS THAN FOUR ITALIANS OUT OF TEN IN AGREEMENT (37.6%). ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE IS GREATER AGREEMENT ON THE RECOGNITION OF GENDER IDENTITIES THAT ARE NOT REFLECTED IN THE FEMININE OR MASCULINE (49.2%; THOSE AGAINST ARE 50.8%). THE LEGALISATION OF SOFT DRUGS (HASHISH AND MARIJUANA) FINDS JUST OVER HALF OF THE ITALIANS IN FAVOUR (52.3%), AND 49.1% ARE IN FAVOUR OF THE LEGALISATION OF PROSTITUTION. AS FAR AS ANIMAL ISSUES ARE CONCERNED, WE REGISTER A DECISIVE NO TO LABORATORY VIVISECTION ON ANIMALS (82.7%), HUNTING (76.1%) AND FURS (82.1%).
Legal protection of de facto couples regardless of gender: 65.1% in favour
On this issue, there is a fluctuating trend of opinions over time: in 2019, 65.1% declared themselves in favour, in 2020 the percentage grew to 67.8%, in 2021 there was a slight drop (64.4%), which was then made up in 2022, with 67.1% of favourable responses coming close to the result of 2016 (67.6%).
Euthanasia, the number of those in favour is growing again
Concerning another very sensitive issue, euthanasia, the consensus has also fluctuated over the years: in 2022 there was an upturn in the number of those in favour (74.9%) compared to 2021 (70.4%), which was the year with the greatest loss of assent, while 2020 was the year with the highest degree of approval by Italians (75.2%), almost two percentage points higher than in 2019 (73.4%).
Assisted suicide: the majority of citizens, six out of ten, say they are against it
With respect to the possibility of assisted suicide, with the help of a doctor to end one’s life, the data reveal a closure: in 2022 only four out of ten Italians say they are in favour (41.9%).
Living will, a widely accepted option
In 2022, those in favour represent 69.3%, slightly down in relation to 2021 when the percentage was 71.5%.
In 2022, 61.3% of Italians are in favour of same-sex marriages, an increase of more than ten percentage points compared to 2019.
Adoption for same-sex couples: still closed
Less than half of Italians agree with adoption by same-sex couples (48.3%).
Adoption is also more accepted for singles
Slightly more than half of Italians agree with opening up adoption to singles (55.8%).
Heterologous fertilisation: a yes not yet full
The possibility of using a donor for procreation meets with the approval of 56.9% of the sample in 2022, a stable value compared to 2021 (57.5%).
Surrogacy: only a third of Italians approve of it
In 2022, only 36.4% of citizens are in favour of the practice of surrogacy, compared to 63.6% against it.
Authorising sex change through self-declaration by the person concerned
The possibility of authorising sex change through self-declaration by the person concerned, even without medical certification, finds less than four out of ten Italians agree (37.6%).
On the other hand, there is greater consensus on the recognition of gender identities that are not reflected in the feminine or masculine, with a share of those in favour that divides the sample in half (49.2%; those against are 50.8%).
Concerning the legalisation of soft drugs (hashish and marijuana), in 2022 only slightly more than half of the Italians are in favour (52.3%). In 2021 only 44.7% were in favour. The legalisation of prostitution finds about half of the Italians in favour in 2022: 49.1%.
Strong No to vivisection
In 2022, laboratory experimentation on animals, and vivisection, is not acceptable to 82.7% of Italians: a judgement that has worsened compared to 2021, when 78.9% were against it.
No to hunting, fur and animals in circuses
In 2022, only 23.9% of Italians declare they are in favour of hunting (those against are 76.1%), a sharp decrease from 2021 when they were 36.5%. As many as 82.1% of Italians are against the use of fur. Animals should not be used in circuses for 8 out of 10 Italians (80.1%).
JUST UNDER HALF OF ITALIANS (46.6%) ADMIT THAT THEY HAVE NO IDEA HOW THE PANDEMIC ORIGINATED. JUST OVER ONE IN 4 (25.7%) BELIEVE THAT SOMEONE WAS BEHIND IT, WHILE FOR 22.9% IT WAS JUST CHANCE. AMONG THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE PANDEMIC SIMPLY RESULTED FROM CHANCE (25.7%), 42.1% BELIEVE THAT THE VIRUS WAS CREATED IN A LABORATORY AND THEN GOT OUT OF CONTROL. CHINA IS INDICATED AS BEING RESPONSIBLE IN ALMOST A THIRD OF THE CASES (31.4%) THE CLEAR MAJORITY OF CITIZENS HAVE FELT RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR FREEDOM SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC AND WOULD NOT BE PREPARED TO FURTHER RESTRICT THEIR FREEDOM IF NECESSARY. MORE UNSTABLE MOOD (58.4%), DEMOTIVATION (57.3%), AND ANXIETY (53.3%) ARE THE MOODS THAT HAVE ACCOMPANIED ITALIANS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC.
The shock of Covid 19 and conspiracy theories
Just under half of Italians (46.6%) admit that they have no idea how the Covid-19 pandemic originated. Slightly more than 1 in 4 (25.7%) believe that someone was behind it, while for 22.9% it was just a coincidence. A smaller 4.8% state, beyond all evidence, that there is no real pandemic.
How would the virus be generated? Most believe it is a laboratory product that got out of control
Among those who do not believe that the pandemic simply came about by chance (they are 25.7%), 42.1% believe that the virus was created in the laboratory and then got out of control, and 25.7% think instead that it was created in the laboratory and spread around the world on purpose. For 15.4%, they realised too late that the virus existed and were unable to stop it, and for 11.3%, the virus is a normal flu virus but was used for other purposes.
China or the so-called elites are to blame for the spread of the virus
When pointing to a culprit, the conviction is that the pandemic is no accident: in almost a third of cases (31.4%) the Chinese government is indicated; another 27.3% attribute responsibility to global strong powers, 12.1% to multinational pharmaceutical companies.
Greater profits and social control would be the aim of the pandemic spread
Citizens who believe that the pandemic did not break out by chance were also asked what they believe is the purpose for which it was created. Making huge profits is the most cited objective (29.3%), followed by ‘controlling people better’ (20.1%) and ‘weakening democracies’ (18.4%). Also obtaining noteworthy percentages are ‘to reduce the world population’ (14.7%), ‘to create a climate of fear’ (10%), ‘to consolidate the power of the international elites’ (9.2%) and, with smaller percentages, ‘to conceal other very serious problems’ (7%) and ‘to justify state intervention in the economy’ (6%).
Judgment on the state’s management of the emergency
A negative judgement prevails on Italy’s management of the pandemic: 55.8% do not approve of the strategy adopted, against 44.1% of positive judgements.
The role of information in the pandemic rejected
Citizens give a negative judgement on the quality of Italian information on the pandemic: 68.5% are critical, against 31.5% satisfied.
Do we still believe in science?
Only 17.6% of the sample saw their faith in science decrease, while for the majority it remained unchanged (61.9%) and for one in 5 (20.4%) it increased.
Covid-19 and restrictions: no longer willing to restrict their freedom
More than a third (35.6%) of citizens say they felt restricted during the pandemic either because of the health situation or because of government choices, 29% because of Covid-19 risks, and 19.1% only because of government choices. Only 16.3% of Italians never felt this discomfort. Respondents were then asked whether they would be willing to further restrict their individual freedom if necessary. Thirty-eight per cent said they would be willing if necessary, but a more conspicuous 62% showed a closed attitude to this eventuality.
The psychological condition of Italians during the health emergency
The majority of citizens say they have felt in a more unstable mood (58.4%), more demotivated (57.3%), and more anxious (53.3%) since the beginning of the pandemic. Less than half of the sample, but a certainly significant percentage (42.9%), report feeling more depressed.
THE GENERAL ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY HAS WORSENED IN THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS (59.1%) AND WILL CONTINUE TO WORSEN IN THE COMING YEAR (47%). THE ECONOMIC CONDITION OF HOUSEHOLDS HAS REMAINED STABLE OVER THE PAST YEAR IN 36.5% OF CASES, WHILE IT HAS WORSENED IN 39.4%. FEW HAVE SEEN IMPROVEMENTS (12.3%). INSTEAD, 45.3% OF HOUSEHOLDS ARE FORCED TO USE THEIR SAVINGS TO MAKE ENDS MEET AND THE ABILITY TO SAVE HAS DECREASED (22.9%; -4.7%); WHILE THE DIFFICULTY OF PAYING MORTGAGE INSTALMENTS HAS INCREASED (43%; +4.8%). APPROXIMATELY ONE IN FOUR FAMILIES IS STRUGGLING TO PAY MEDICAL EXPENSES (24.5%), AND TO PAY FOR GAS, ELECTRICITY, ETC. (34.4%; +4.8%).
MOREOVER, 35.7% (+7.2% COMPARED TO 2021) HAVE ASKED THEIR FAMILIES FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT OR HAVE TURNED TO FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES OR OTHER RELATIVES (18.2%, +3.1%); 18% HAVE ASKED FOR A BANK LOAN (+2.9%), WHILE INSTALMENT PAYMENTS TO MAKE PURCHASES, USED BY ABOUT ONE ITALIAN IN THREE (33.6%), ARE MUCH MORE WIDESPREAD. INDEED, 11.1% OF THE SAMPLE, ARE UNABLE TO ACCESS BANK LOANS, AND HAVE REQUESTED LOANS FROM PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS (NOT RELATIVES OR FRIENDS), A PRACTICE THAT OFTEN RESULTS IN FORMS OF USURY; 14.4% HAVE HAD TO SELL OR LOST ASSETS (HOUSE, BUSINESS, CAR, ETC.) AND 12.9% HAVE RETURNED TO LIVE AT HOME WITH THEIR FAMILY OF ORIGIN OR IN-LAWS (+2.9%). THOSE WHO WOULD HAVE NEEDED A CARER FOR THEMSELVES OR FOR A LOVED ONE GAVE IT UP IN 31.6% OF CASES AND 27.5% OF PARENTS GAVE UP THE HELP OF A BABYSITTER. AMONG THOSE, STUDENTS AND WORKERS, WHO OPTED TO RETURN TO THEIR REGION BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC, 28.8% WERE FORCED TO DO SO DUE TO A LACK OF WORK.
The general economic situation in the country over the past twelve months
Overall, most citizens believe that there has been a net or partial deterioration (59.1%). 10.3%, one in ten citizens, believe that Italy’s economic situation has improved (clearly or partially) over the course of this year. For 14.3%, the Italian economy experienced a period of stability in the past year. Many were unable to indicate this (16.3%).
Economy, what Italians expect in the near future
Looking to the future, the belief is that the general economic condition is set to worsen (47%). For 24.3% we are about to experience a period of stability and only 6.4% expect an improvement.
The household economy: between stability and worsening
36.5% of citizens say that their own and their family’s economic condition has remained substantially stable over the past year, while for 39.4% it has worsened.
Coping with expenses and the ability to save
45.3% of Italian households are forced to use their savings to make ends meet, a figure up by 8.2% compared to 2021, although the worst year was 2020 with a lockdown (47.7%).
Households facing all monthly expenses without problems decreased by 9% (compared to 2021) (35.3%). The ability to save has also decreased over the past year (22.9%; -4.7%); while the number of households that find it difficult to pay their mortgage instalment has increased by 4.8%, reaching the highest level recorded so far (43%); the number of those who find it difficult to meet their rent (-1.8%) has decreased, albeit slightly. Approximately one family in four has difficulty coping with medical expenses (24.5%), while more and more people say they have difficulty paying their gas, electricity, etc. bills: with 34.4% of affirmative answers, this year’s percentage is the highest in the historical series considered, 2017-2022 (+7.4% on 2021).
Strategies and renunciations to make ends meet amid economic difficulties
As far as the need for liquidity is concerned, 35.7% (+7.2% compared to 2021) have asked their family for financial support or have turned to friends, colleagues or other relatives (18.2%, +3.1%); 18% (+2.9%) of respondents have asked for a bank loan, while the use of instalment payments to make purchases, used by about one Italian in three (33.6%), is much more widespread. It should be borne in mind that 11.1%, unable to access bank loans, requested loans from private individuals
(not relatives or friends), a practice that often results in forms of usury, 14.4% have had to sell or have lost assets (house, business, car, etc.) and 12.9% have moved back home with their family of origin or with their in-laws (+2.9%).
On the payment front, 27.6% of Italians paid their bills late, 18.6% were in arrears with their condominium instalment and 16% had difficulty settling their accounts with tradesmen/artisans. 19% agreed to work without a contract (+3.6%) and 22.8% did more than one job at the same time (+7.7%).
In recent years, in addition to the classic E-Bay, numerous auction and online sales sites (e.g. Vinted or Wallapop) have been flourishing as a quick and safe way to sell what one does not need and earn some money: 18.1% of Italians have used these platforms to put goods and objects up for sale in the last year; about one in ten respondents preferred to rent clothes and/or accessories for parties and ceremonies, rather than buy them (10.9%). Those who would have needed a carer for themselves or for a loved one gave it up in 31.6% of cases and 27.5% of parents gave up the help of a babysitter.
Home and a supplementary pension are the investments Italians would make right now
Being able to invest, the house is still a good investment for 48.2% of the population. In second place is taking out a supplementary pension (40.6%), followed by depositing savings in bank/post office accounts (26.9%), while the percentages in favour of buying shares, bonds and funds on the stock market (18.6%) and buying businesses (16.4%) are much more lukewarm.
Away for work or study, the reasons for returning to one’s region
Among the students and workers away from home who returned to their home region, 28.8% were forced to do so due to lack of work, 20.3% returned home for smart working and 16.7% for distance learning.
How cultural consumption, sociability and sports activities are changing
The type of entertainment most sacrificed compared to the pre-pandemic period is the cinema: the vast majority of respondents report that they have stopped attending it since the beginning of the pandemic (63.4%). The balance sheet for the theatre is also negative, abandoned by 59% of those interviewed. Over half of the sample has also given up leisure trips (55.4%) and has lost the habit of going to the gym and/or swimming pool (52.4%). 64.5% of the respondents have met fewer new people since the start of the pandemic. Many have lost friendships because the pandemic has made it less possible for them to get together as before (48.3%).
ONLY 22.8% OF ITALIANS DO NOT SHOP ONLINE. SHOPPING AT HOME, THE MOST COMMON HABIT IS ORDERING MEALS AT HOME (44.6%). ON THE TRAVEL FRONT, THE BICYCLE IS USED IN 28.6% OF CASES, THE ELECTRIC SCOOTER IN 16% MANY AVOID PUBLIC TRANSPORT (40.4%) AND TRAVEL BY TRAIN AND PLANE (38.8%). THE USE OF VIDEO CALLS WITH RELATIVES AND FRIENDS (60.8%) AND THE PURCHASE OF SUBSCRIPTIONS TO STREAMING PLATFORMS (47.9%) IS WIDESPREAD. ALMOST 40% OF ITALIANS CLAIM TO HAVE INCREASED THEIR IT SKILLS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC AND TO USE TOOLS THEY DID NOT USE BEFORE (45.5%). THE MOBILE PHONE IS INCREASINGLY USED IN BED, WHEN WAKING UP OR BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP (66.1%). MANY USE THEIR MOBILE PHONES WHILE WALKING (42.7%) AND ALSO (23.9%) WHILE DRIVING (23.9%)
The spread of e-commerce
At the present day, 22.8% of Italians never shop online; all the others (77.2% overall) do so: 29.2% sometimes, 24.6% rarely, 15% often, and 8.4% habitually.
Pandemic, restrictions and new habits
As far as home shopping is concerned, the most widespread habit is to order dinner or other meals at home (44.6% did so in the last year), followed by home shopping (37.7%) and then home medication (23.8%). On the travel front, the bicycle is used in 28.6% of cases, the electric scooter by a not inconsiderable 16%, while 40.4% report avoiding public transportand 38.8% travelling by train and plane. The use of video calls with relatives and friends appears to be widespread (60.8%). The purchase of subscriptions to paid streaming platforms is widespread (47.9%), while the rental or purchase of home fitness equipment remains more of a niche (22.9%).
The digitalisation of daily life
Almost 40% of Italians claim to have increased their IT skills since the beginning of the pandemic. A significant 45.5% have started using tools they did not use before. The majority, since the beginning of the pandemic, use the Internet more for practical reasons (56.1%) and for leisure (53.8%).
Mobile phone: the first and last thought of the day
And security issues. The clear majority of Italians (66.1%) use their mobile phone in bed when waking up or before going to sleep. Looking at the smartphone thus becomes for many the first and last action of the day. The majority use it while watching television (54.4%) and while in the bathroom (53.6%); half of the sample uses it at the table while eating alone (50.3%) and 26.5% even when dining with friends. Many use their mobile phones while walking (42.7%); 37% take ‘selfies’ and post them on social networks. About a third (32.2%) use it when stopped at traffic lights, but almost a quarter (23.9%) also while driving. Moreover, 28.2% have the habit of geolocalising and posting it on social networks.
Metaverse, this stranger
The survey conducted by Eurispes shows that most Italians have never heard of the Metaverse (56.7%); even among those who had already heard of it, 22.1% do not know what it is. Only 21.2% claim to know what it is.
What does the Metaverse mean?
Those who answered that they did not know what the Metaverse is were asked to indicate which of the proposed alternatives the term made them think of, namely: digital in general (36%), science fiction (23%), and next-generation smartphones (8.3%).
What feelings does this new world arouse?
Those who claimed to know what the Metaverse is were asked what feeling this parallel digital universe arouses in them. The feeling most shared was curiosity (27.4%), followed by indifference (21.9%) and, not far behind, concern (20.5%). 9.5% declare themselves enthusiastic about this world, while 8.8% feel a sense of bewilderment; 3% look at this innovation with hope and only 1.6% are afraid of it.
ACCORDING TO THE EURISPES SURVEY, IN 2022, 7.4% OF ITALIANS AGED 18 AND OVER CLAIM TO HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF STALKING, I.E. VICTIMS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE PERSECUTED THEM; 6.9% PREFERRED NOT TO ANSWER. IN ALMOST 1 OUT OF 4 CASES (22.2%) THE STALKER IS THE EX-PARTNER. COMPUTER CRIMES ARE BECOMING MORE AND MORE WIDESPREAD: ALMOST 3 OUT OF 10 ITALIANS HAVE FALLEN VICTIM TO COMPUTER SCAMS (27.2%).
Currently, 7.4% of Italians aged 18 and over claim to have been victims of stalking, i.e. victims of people who have stalked them. For 85.8% of the people, this has never happened and 6.9% preferred not to answer. The outline of the stalker
In almost 1 in 4 cases (22.2%) it is the ex-partner. In 14.9% of the cases, the stalker is an acquaintance, in 8.7% it is a colleague and in 5.9% of the cases, it is a friend.
Repeated phone calls and messages (60.4%) and stalking/peddling (45.1%) are the most common stalking behaviour.
The spread of cybercrimes: young people are the most exposed. Almost 3 out of 10 Italians have fallen victim to computer scams (27.2%). The second most widespread cybercrime is false identity fraud (15.3%), followed by identity theft (13.2%). 11.5% faced cyberstalking, i.e. stalking via the Net. In 5.8% of cases, the crime suffered was revenge porn: the dissemination, without consent, of intimate photos or videos, via social or digital platforms, with the intention of denigrating and deeply embarrassing the person portrayed. Young people aged 18-24 are those who fall victim to cyberstalking (17.6%) and revenge porn (10.9%) more often than other categories. The same applies to identity theft and identity deception (around 20% in both cases).
OVER THE PAST YEAR, A LARGE PROPORTION OF ITALIANS HAVE AVOIDED CHECK-UPS FOR FEAR OF CONTAGION AND HAVE FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO BE SEEN BY THEIR GENERAL PRACTITIONER. STILL, ON THE HEALTH FRONT AND IN ANTICIPATION OF NO TOBACCO DAY, THE EURISPES SURVEY ON ANTI-SMOKING CENTRES, VAPING AND HEATED TOBACCO IN A HARM-REDUCTION PERSPECTIVE.
Health and the health system: giving up and not taking care of oneself is widespread
According to the survey, 44% of Italians say they have avoided check-ups in the last year in order, not to visit places at risk of Covid infection and 42.4% have encountered difficulties in being visited by their general practitioner. One-third of citizens (33.3%) have had surgery or treatment postponed due to the unavailability of health facilities, a slightly smaller proportion (31.8%) have encountered difficulties in finding health care after contracting Covid, and 28.5% have foregone visits and/or examinations for fear of becoming infected in health facilities when they had a health problem.
Smoke-free centres: the Eurispes survey. The survey on smoke-free centres in Italy showed that the proportion of patients taken in by smoke-free centres is 18,700, representing 0.16% of the total number of smokers. The activity of smoke-free centres as a support structure for the smoking population has limited success with smoking cessation therapies. In fact, 76% of the respondents say they are open to other possible strategies, although they remain strongly opposed (48%) to the use of smokeless products as alternatives to traditional tobacco consumption. From 2019 to 2021, however, the proportion of managers (9-20%) who report not having enough information to assess the potential impact of new devices that go beyond combustion in terms of risk reduction increases.
Heated tobacco and vaping and the orientation towards risk reduction
Interesting indications emerge from the survey on heated tobacco and vaping carried out by Eurispes. Among these, of particular value is the interrelationship between consumption of the new products and a reduction in cigarette smoking or even, in appreciable percentages, cessation of traditional smoking. First of all, there is a substitution effect of the new products in relation to cigarettes: 95.7 % of the respondents stated that they had previously smoked traditional cigarettes, while 81.5 % of the users stated that they had stopped smoking cigarettes, which is significant given the proportion of smokers who have never tried to stop smoking (62%).
Even because clinical and scientific studies do not rule out risks about the use of new products, what is certain is that in the case of the continued use of traditional products these risks, which are, moreover, greatly amplified, become absolute certainties. While maintaining the necessary attention to the precautionary principle that informs health institutions, according to Eurispes these should to a good extent ‘open up’ to that of risk reduction.
THE PANDEMIC SEEMS TO HAVE AFFECTED ITALIANS’ PROPENSITY TO ADOPT. IF THE PRESENCE OF ANIMALS IN THE HOMES OF ITALIANS HAS DECREASED COMPARED TO 2020, IT STILL REMAINS AT A SIGNIFICANT LEVEL COMPARED TO PAST YEARS.
IN OUR HOMES MAINLY DOGS AND CATS. FOR ONE IN SIX FAMILIES, MONTHLY EXPENDITURE ON THEIR PET DOES NOT EXCEED 100 EUROS
In this year’s survey, 37.7 per cent of Italians aged 18 and over say they welcome an animal into their household. This means that while the presence of animals in Italians’ homes has decreased compared to 2020, it still remains at a significant level compared to, for example, the results of 2017 (33%), 2018 (32.4%) and 2019 (33.6%).
Still at the top of the list of animals in our homes, even in 2022, is the dog with 44.7% of those who own at least one and, in the second position, the cat, preferred by 35.4% of Italians. How much do animals weigh on the family budget? 60% of those who keep pets spend between 30 and 100 euros per month (31.1% between 31 and 50 euros and 28.3% between 51 and 100 euros). Only 22.5% of the sample spends, on average, less than 30 euros per month, while 18.1% of those who have an animal devote between 100 and more than 300 euros per month to it.
Among the behaviours adopted towards animals, volunteering in kennels, catteries or other shelters is still not very common (almost 71% of the sample has never had such an experience). It is also unusual for 64.4% of respondents to pay for medical care for stray animals. It is much more common to turn to associations for information about their animals (47% do so with varying frequency) or to adopt animals found on the street (41%).
THE SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS OF THE ITALY REPORT CAN BE DOWNLOADED AT THE LINK BELOW