Destinations Magazine

The Five Star Question

By Stizzard
The Five Star question

ROSARIO SCAVO remembers when 80% of the inhabitants of Borgo Vittoria worked directly or indirectly for the Fiat car company. “It was a city within the city,” he says of the firm, to which he gave 33 years of his life. In those days, it went without saying that this working-class district of Turin, where the gleaming Alps are obscured by dismal apartment blocks, voted for the left. Once it was the Socialists or Communists, more recently the Democratic Party (PD) of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Much of Fiat’s production has since left Italy for cheaper locations. Today, Borgo Vittoria is a lifeless place. A jeweller’s shop bears the melancholy sign “I Buy Gold”. (Not much though, says an assistant: “Those who wanted to sell have already sold.”) As for Mr Scavo, the energetic 62-year-old has already been a pensioner for five years. He gives €300 a month to his university-educated daughter, who has been unable to find any job better than part-time health and social work.

Such grim economic prospects are one reason why, at local elections last month, the Torinese ended 23 years of centre-left government and chucked out their PD mayor,…

The Economist: Europe

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