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Italy’s ‘Cultural Allowance’ For Teens Aims To Educate, Counter Extremism

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a assembly entitled “Italy, Europe, An Answer to Terror,” hold during a Capitolini Museum in Rome final November. Renzi’s supervision is charity all Italian 18-year-olds 500 euros to spend on informative events. The thought is to teach and to assistance a flourishing series of immature immigrants assimilate.

Gregorio Borgia/AP


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Gregorio Borgia/AP

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a assembly entitled “Italy, Europe, An Answer to Terror,” hold during a Capitolini Museum in Rome final November. Renzi’s supervision is charity all Italian 18-year-olds 500 euros to spend on informative events. The thought is to teach and to assistance a flourishing series of immature immigrants assimilate.

Gregorio Borgia/AP

Few things enthuse some-more loathsome in a hearts of high propagandize students than a difference “extra homework.” But as Florence Mattei hands out a poster to her homeroom category during a Southlands School in Rome, she tells them they might wish to give this assignment a chance.

“Who would like to review what it’s about?” she asks a room full of 18-year-olds.

A comparison named Alessio translates from Italian into English: “For a people innate in 1998 there is a 500-euro reward that we can spend on informative things, such as going to a cinema, visiting museums and this kind of stuff.”

He stares during a page in disbelief. But it’s true. Starting this month, Italy is charity a 18-year-old residents a homogeneous of $563 to spend on culture, from unison tickets, books, and museum admission, to other subordinate events.

To get a money, they need to register online and download an app.

“Do we wish to try?” says a teacher. “Yeah? So get your phone.”

Youth stagnation in Italy is scarcely 40 percent in a nation that’s been struggling economically for years. So a giveaway income is a acquire warn for teenagers like Daniele Montagna, who knows where he’s going to spend his first.

“On a unison of JB – Justin Bieber!” he rejoices.

And he can. The module doesn’t heed between cocktail enlightenment and high-brow culture.

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Combating Extremism

But a Italian supervision is anticipating a module will teach kids innate in Italy as good as confederate a flourishing race of unfamiliar residents, dissuading alienated youths from following radical Islam.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi initial announced a supposed Culture Bonus final Nov after a Paris massacre, when Islamist terrorists killed 130 people inside a museum and outward on a streets.

“They destroy statues, we strengthen them,” he pronounced in a debate during a time. “They bake books, we’re a nation of libraries; they prognosticate terror, we respond with culture.”

But some doubt either exposing immature Muslims to, say, Lady Gaga will unequivocally attraction them to Western culture.

“There is a possibility that Lady Gaga is accurately what’s going to make somebody angry,” says Barak Mendelsohn, a comparison associate during a Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, and an consultant in combating extremism. “That doesn’t meant that they buy into your values. We’ve seen radicals perplexing to take advantage of a gratification state, appropriation themselves while building bombs.”

He points to a Paris attackers. French authorities guess they collected some-more than 50,000 euros in stagnation advantages – even while during slightest one of them had a job.

“They don’t have any ideological barrier in holding income from Western countries,” Mendelsohn adds.

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Italy’s Fears

While Italy has so distant avoided a new spate of terrorism in Europe, a Colosseum and other Roman monuments figure prominently in ISIS promotion videos.

That has put Italian authorities on high alert, as migrants and refugees arrive by a tens of thousands each year. This past spring, Italian authorities arrested 4 people suspected of plotting to explosve a Vatican underneath orders from Islamic State.

“We shouldn’t wait for attacks and meddle afterward,” says Stefano Dambruoso, a member of a Italian parliament. “The Western universe is firm to horde some-more and some-more people since of mass immigration. We’re not appropriation a Culture Bonus since we’re such a good country. It’s simply in a best seductiveness to confederate people.”

He refers to people like Hassan Mehdi, a migrant from Bangladesh, who sells phone chargers during Porta Portese, Rome’s bustling outside flea market.

Mehdi says he’s a resident, and was innate in 1998, creation him authorised for a 500 euros.

“It’s a good idea. we could buy books, urge my Italian, maybe get a improved job,” he says, as shoppers trifle by bins of plugs and USB adapters.

“This is a initial I’ve listened of it,” he says, in identical dishonesty to his Italian peers during school. “Where do we pointer up?”