Banner at protest camp as students stand up against huge rent prices

Students protest against rent prices


The government orders a census on vacant properties to help address the current rent crisis in Italy. Students have been camping in front of university buildings in protest against exorbitant rent prices.

A census is to be carried out of vacant properties so they can be made available for students in response to the current rent crisis in Italy, University Minister Anna Maria Bernini said today.

“There is a problem in finding available properties in the provinces,” Bernini told Radio 24. “I have asked for the cooperation of the state property administration, municipalities and mayors of metropolitan areas,” she continued. Bernini also added that the Meloni government has already made available €400million for student housing and €500million for scholarships in this year’s budget.

“We are currently guaranteeing for the allocation of an additional 7,500 beds” on top of the existing 40,000, said Bernini.

“Students’ “gentle” protest against rent prices

Students across Italy have been camping out in front of their universities to protest the exorbitant cost of renting accommodation.

On Tuesday, university rectors called for existing state property to be converted into student accommodation rather than for new residences to be built as an immediate solution to the problem.

Vice President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference and bishop of Cassano, Monsignor Francesco Savino said he shared the student protest.

“I share this gentle, civil protest that says to adults, and especially to those who have political responsibilities: Do you realise that we can’t manage?” said Savino.

Having to pay €800-900 for a room risks creating the conditions for a social revolt, added the prelate.

“It’s a real, authentic protest, responding to an objective need. Let’s try to listen to them,” said the bishop. He added the issue will be the focus of the Bishops’ Conference assembly at the end of May.

“We cannot ignore the questions being posed, we want to listen to needs, starting especially with young people,” he concluded.

Related article: Italy’s brain drain

Government to present solution

Earlier on Thursday, the President of the Culture and University Committee Federico Mollicone of the Brothers of Italy (FdI) said the party would present a resolution. They would convene student associations and the relevant ministers, as well as representatives of local and regional authorities.

“We must solve this problem that afflicts so many Italian students throughout the nation, to ensure the complete fulfilment of the right to study, an issue that has been neglected until now,” said Mollicone.

“In Milan a single room costs on average €628 per month, in Bologna €467 a month and in Rome €452 a month,” he added.

The issue of high rents came to the fore last week when a student set up camp outside her Milan university to protest at the cost of accommodation in Italy’s economic capital.

The protest has since spread to several major cities in Italy, including Rome, Bologna and Florence.

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