Minister calls for law to force Italy's 'big babies' to grow up
Tuesday 19 January 2010
A minister in Silvio Berlusconi's government has called for a new law to make Italy's notoriously mollycoddled youth leave home by the age of 18 to "deal with the culture of mummy's boys and big babies".
Innovation minister Renato Brunetta made his comments after a judge ordered a man in Bergamo to continue paying €350 (£308) a month to his 32-year-old daughter, who is continuing to work on her thesis eight years after graduating in philosophy. Studies suggest more than half of Italians under the age of 34 live with their parents. Several words have been coined in the Italian language to describe these overgrown adult children, such as bambocciona and mammone.
"We need this debate," Mr Brunetta told The Independent. "In a sense I'm being provocative. However, all these young people think they're living in a free hotel, and actually there's a price they pay. It allows their parents to keep control of them, emotionally, socially and financially – and deny them their freedom and the chance to mature."
For the diminutive but outspoken minister, a self-proclaimed enemy of idlers and slackers, calling for such legislation amounts to a case of "do as I say; not as I do". Mr Brunetta admits to having left home at the age of 30. "I was a mummy's boy, too," he said. "Until I was 30, it was my mother who made my bed every morning, which I'm ashamed of."
While Education Minister, Mariastella Gelmini, backed her colleague, saying that "a timely emancipation from the family is a good thing", other cabinet members went on the offensive.
Roberto Calderoli, minister without portfolio, said: "My friend Brunetta seems to have lost the plot. [His proposal] represents an unacceptable interference in the lives of families, single people and their decisions." Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa, said. "I was at home with my parents until I was 27, when I got married. I expect my daughter will do the same."
Yesterday Corriere della Sera reported the case of a 36-year-old pianist in Rome, who lived with his divorced mother and grandmother, with his only source of income €225 (£198) a month pocket money sent by his father. He said he was staying put with his mother until he was able to find a secure job.
- 1 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 2 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 3 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 YouTube social experiment shows just how easy it is to kidnap a child
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
First-time buyers in London 'need to earn at least £77,000'
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...
£30 - 40k (£65k Y1 OTE Uncapped): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Deve...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...
£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...