Thinking Allowed - Italian Family 1: Milan
Why is the Italian birth rate plummeting? Laurie Taylor presents the first of three programmes on the crisis of the Italian family.
Italy, home to the Pope and the Holy See, perhaps the most Catholic of all countries, is undergoing a peculiarly un-Catholic crisis; it now has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. There are so few children being born that if the current trend persists, traditional Italians are at risk of dying out in just a handful of generations. How can the nation famed for Romanticism, for enormous affectionate families, for Mamma Mia and for an enviable certainty that all you need is good food, good wine and your family around you, be the same nation that no longer gives birth? Laurie travels to Milan to unpick the tangled interactions between the individual, the family, the church and the state and discovers why Italians are delaying parenthood and in many cases rejecting having a family altogether. The first of three special editions on the crisis of the Italian family. Producer: Charlie Taylor.