Unfilled jobs spark heated debate in Italy
ROME (AFP) - A business owner has sparked a heated row in Italy over the paradox of record youth unemployment and thousands of unfilled vacancies, claiming that young Italians are too laid-back for the job market.
Plastics manufacturer Giovanni Pagotto has said he is only hiring immigrants and complained Italian applicants were not "hungry" enough, comparing this to his own humble beginnings working on the factory floor.
Mr Pagotto, from the region near Venice, said one applicant wanted a three-month delay before starting the job to take a driving test, while another turned up to the interview with his mother for moral support.
His comments have caused widespread anger - from trade union leaders to the many young people who say their job searches are constantly frustrated - but some experts point out he might have a point.