Ahead of Italy’s election, immigration is seen as a key issue on the southern island of Sicily

Ahead of Italy's election, immigration is seen as a key issue on the southern island of Sicily

With a wealthy historical past of invasion and conquest, structure, arts and language, Sicily has a robust sense of cultural id however the economic system was affected greater than most by Italy’s monetary disaster.

Removed from the industrialized north in Italy and political heart in Rome, Sicily has relied historically on agriculture for a lot of its gross home product (GDP), though tourism and minor trade is part of the image.

Nonetheless, Sicily was known as the “Greece of Italy” by one enterprise chief throughout the monetary disaster in Europe and the area’s financial output fell greater than 13 % between 2008 and 2015, in accordance with Reuters, and is just slowly recovering.

Unemployment stands at 22.1 %, Eurostat knowledge from 2016 exhibits, with youth unemployment even worse and among the many highest in Europe, at a large 57.2 %.

A scarcity of gainful employment has enabled organized crime teams, most notably, the Cosa Nostra mafia in Sicily, to flourish over the many years though newspapers in 2017 reported that the native economic system had gotten so dangerous on the island that even the Mafiosi have been leaving the island in the hunt for work. The recession has additionally made it far more troublesome for hard-up companies to pay safety cash (“pizzo” in Italian) to the Mafia, Reuters stated.

The dearth of employment and monetary scenario in Sicily has exacerbated the immigration debate, with critics saying Sicily has little work to go round already. However Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando, a member of the ruling Democratic Occasion, stated Sicily had at all times been a welcoming place for migrants.