venerdì 30 novembre 2012

Cost of living


Some weeks ago, one interesting question was about the cost of living in Italy and about the level of salaries, in order to make comparisons with Lithuania or other countries.

After many research in the Internet, I found a very useful web site: In particular, the section "cost of living" is very useful for our aim. You can choose a city or a country as a whole. Then, you can have information about average net salary and prices level (for house renting, house utilities, food, clothing, etc). Here, as an example, the page about Italy.
It's very interesting, in my opinion, compare the cost of living between northern and southern cities, or between big and medium-sized cities. And, of course, compare the cost of living between Italian and Lithuanian cities.
So, I suggest you to use this website and draw your own conclusions.

In general, even if the level of salaries is higher in Italy in comparison to Lithuania, I would not suggest to move to Italy in order to earn money. In fact, the Crisis is beating hard, unemployment rate is constantly growing, real salaries don't grow, price level is increasing, new or higher taxes and big cutting in public expenses (education, healthcare system, welfare state) are imposed... In short, the so-called "austerity" is shaping  a very difficult situation, and Italians - especially youth - are starting to emigrate.

Anyway, in spite of this situation, Italian people found some ways to react to Crisis.

  • According to valuations made by one consumers' defence association, at the end of 2011 the self production of vegetables (grown in gardens) had increased around 20%;
  • Reduction of unnecessary expenses and food and goods waste;
  • Increase of second hand market;
  • Increase of social unrest and protest (I suggest to read the website struggles in Italy, which provides up to date information in English about protest and social movements in Italy);
  • Growth of GAS - Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale (Solidarity Purchasing Groups): people who associate in order to buy directly from producers (farmers, breeders, cooperatives or small producers) big quantity of goods; in this way, people get better quality products at a lower price (because they can avoid the cost of big retail chains brokerage) and producers increase their business and get higher price. As example, here a short documentary about the GAS based in the city of Pavia.

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