Italy offers teens €500 each to spend on culture

Posted on: September 28, 2016

“Starting this month, Italy is offering its 18-year-old residents the equivalent of $563 to spend on culture, from concert tickets, books and museum admission to other qualifying events,” reports Christopher Livesay in Tuesday’s (9/27) All Things Considered (National Public Radio). “To get the money, they need to register online and download an app.… Youth unemployment in Italy is nearly 40 percent in a country that’s been struggling economically for years. So the free cash is a welcome surprise for teens like Daniele Montagna, who knows where he is going to spend his first. ‘On the concert of JB—Justin Bieber!’ he rejoices. And he can. The program doesn’t distinguish between pop culture and highbrow culture. The Italian government is hoping the program will educate kids born in Italy as well as integrate a growing population of foreign residents, dissuading alienated youths from following radical Islam. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi first announced the so-called Culture Bonus last November after the Paris massacre, when Islamist terrorists killed 130.… ‘They destroy statues, we protect them,’ he said in a speech at the time. ‘They burn books, we’re the country of libraries; they envision terror, we respond with culture.’ ”

Posted September 28, 2016