Italy fears ‘catastrophe by October’ as tourists disappear

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It is not yet known how many Italians will lose their jobs due to the pandemic and the three-month lockdown that will follow, one of the strictest in the world.Amid warnings of social unrest, the government has extended until the end of the year a program under which companies receive financial assistance to keep their employees.

The ban on firing people has also been extended until December, but it will have to end at some point and, depending on the strength of the economic recovery, that could simply delay the inevitable.

The president of Italy’s employers’ federation has warned the country could see a million people lose their jobs after leave programs end.

Carlo Bonomi, president of Confindustria, said The imprint newspaper: “One million job losses is, unfortunately, a credible figure. The risks of bleeding are serious. “

He criticized the government for failing to come up with a clear plan to restart the economy and reopen schools in mid-September.

The Italian tourism industry has been hit hardest by the crisis

More than a third of Italian businesses now say they are at risk of shutting down, according to Istat, the national statistics agency, despite the government providing cheap loans, holiday programs and emergency social assistance.

“The impact of the crisis on businesses has been extraordinarily intense and rapid, posing serious risks to their survival,” the agency’s Roberto Monducci said in a recent presentation to parliament.

Tourism is one of the most visible sectors to have been hit hard by Covid-19.

Millions of tourists who would normally have headed to Sicily’s beaches or Venice’s canals have stayed away this summer, robbing the country of billions of euros in revenue.

International arrivals were down 90% at the end of July, according to the national tourism agency Enit.

Five of the most iconic destinations – Rome, Venice, Florence, Turin and Milan – will lose € 7.6 billion (£ 6.8 billion) in revenue this year due to the shortage of foreign visitors, according to a report of the professional association Confesercenti.

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