I carefully read your announcement regarding your Special Issue related to austerity in Southern Europe that keeps the young and older scientists here in Italy in a discouragingly sad position.
The mind of young researchers in Italy emigration is the only way out. This kind of brain drain is harmful to this beautiful country. Many young researchers after many years of dedicated life as scientists had to stop working due to lack of funds or cut in their project financing. Government cut more than 60% of the research budget. It is ridiculous that, even under this difficult situation, there is also a further request to remove 10% from project funds. The younger generations are now being penalised by the errors of the politicians in the past. They were the false prophets during the years leading this country indebtedness. The politicians must think mainly on the progress of this nation, as they have been elected by the people to represent in the parliament to resolve the problems of the country.
However, Italian politicians appear unable to resolve the real problem of this country. I am therefore very sceptical as to how they are going to resolve the problems of scientists. Let us hope that the new Government headed by Enrico Letta will be able to do something new. He is young in spirit, intelligent and has real intention, with the help of other ministers, is to take this country out of economic crisis towards prosperity. Of course, it is a hard job for him, for obvious reasons, with the present coalition! There is a certain political interest in attracting voters in forthcoming elections! This is the real problem in this country!
It appears that they ignore the fact that the progress of science will bring in prosperity by bringing the country to a respectable position. If one looks back the history of this country, we notice that many Nobel Prize winners brought in great honour to this country. This was totally ignored by the politicians. This may, partly be due to economic crisis. But it was mainly due to their ignorance and incapacity, in the past, to evaluate the power of scientific research of this country. Let me hope, that from now on, there will be a radical change, in their thoughts and actions.
Our respectable President Giorgio Napolitano repeatedly talked about the importance of scientific research for the progress of the country. But, unfortunately, many politicians did not pay attention to his request. It seems that most of them turned a deaf ear to his call. They are much more interested in talk shows! People are really tired of their false promises!
Italy is in no way inferior in its scientific endeavour to any other EU countries. However, much more support from the EU is needed. There is also a need for an EU-wide policy, susceptible to influence the Italian Government in promoting scientific activities, through the provision of adequate financial support.
Research Associate, Italy
Note: The opinion expressed in this letter is personal and not that of my current research institution.
Credit photo: Jose Antonio Cotallo López.