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Italy. Pope Francis on the causes of the falling birth rate. “These are real problems”

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Pope Francis has admitted to scolding a woman who asked him to “bless her baby”, meaning his dog. Francis recalled this situation while addressing a conference on the demographic crisis in Italy. Speaking about the reasons for the falling birth rate, he pointed to “difficulties in finding a stable job, sky-high rents and insufficient wages”.

May 12 in Rome at a conference on the demographic crisis in Italy Pope Francis gave a speech in which, among other things, he recalled the situation when he scolded the faithful. As he said, a woman once approached him, opened a bag and asked him to “bless her child.” The clergyman admitted that the situation had upset him. – I lost patience and scolded her, I said: so many children are starving, and you bring me a dog? he said. The Pope said that animals replace children in many homes. The leader of the Catholic Church also recognized that the falling birth rate showed a lack of hope for the future. – The birth of children is the main indicator to measure the hope of a nation. If there are few of them, it means that there is little hope. This not only has economic and social consequences, but also undermines confidence in the future, he said.

He added that younger generations are burdened with “a sense of insecurity, fragility and impermanence”. “Difficulty of finding a stable job, sky-high rents and insufficient wages are real problems,” he stressed.

Giorgia Meloni on the demographic crisis in Italy

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Prime Minister Italianwho shared the stage with the pope, told the conference that the demographic crisis was a “threat to national security.” – Solving this problem is an absolute priority. We want Italy to return (on the road – ed.) to a bright future, added Giorgia Meloni. According to the BBC, the shrinking population is a very serious problem in Italy. By 2050, the country could lose almost a fifth of its population. At the same time, society is aging very quickly – the number of centenarians in Italy has tripled in the last 20 years. Experts warn that the demographic crisis will lead to the impoverishment of society. Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said that by 2042, Italy’s declining birth rate would result in an 18% reduction in gross domestic product (GDP).

Why is Italy suffering from a demographic crisis?

The BBC points to a number of reasons for the low fertility rate in Italy. First of all, young people have great difficulties in finding a stable job. In addition, the childcare support system is at an insufficient level, which makes it difficult for mothers to reconcile work and family life. According to the charity Save the Children, six out of ten mothers do not have access to nurseries. Many young mothers are forced to give up their jobs and many pregnant women are laid off.

SEE ALSO: Cardinal Parolin: The mission for peace in Ukraine will continue

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/LUCA ZENNARO

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