Giulio Meotti
Giulio Meottiצילום: עצמי
To understand what Italy will be like in a generation, you don't need to have the talent of Jean Dutourd, the writer and member of the Académie Française who in 1975 published “2024”, a great novel where he imagines a country where they no longer have children:

“On the street, I saw a child. He was shaking hands with his dad, in his thirties. What a curious sight! Already a man in his thirties is not something you see often. Especially accompanied by a child. I was enraptured. And I wasn't the only one to be. Everyone turned to look. A lady stopped, a gentleman dropped his walking stick. Dad was aware of the strangeness of the situation. He looked provocatively at passers-by, as if to tell them: 'All right, I'm young, I have a son, I go for a walk together, I talk to him in front of everyone. I love him, I introduce him to life, or at least to what I know of it. If anyone is bothered by all this, come and say it to my face!' The faces of the people offered an exhilarating scene: a little disgusted, a little scandalized, but above all amazed".

To understand what Italy will be like in a generation, demography is enough, since it is a science with limited margins of error. And just browse through the national report “Birth rate and fertility of the resident population. Year 2021”. Since 2008, births in Italy have decreased by 176,410 units. They are collapsing at such a rate that in thirty years we will theoretically pulverize 450,000 births a year. In 2019 it was impressive to record a negative balance of 212,000 units, due to the difference between 647,000 deaths and 435,000 births. It was the lowest figure ever recorded in Italy. Then the fall became even more devastating. But no one seemed to notice.

"If births in Italy continued their downward path at the rate observed in the last decade (to which was then added the uncertainty of the pandemic) we would find ourselves entering the second half of this century with completely empty maternity wards" he writes the demographer Alessandro Rosina this week. "The scenario of zero births in 2050 will hardly be actually observed - the real dynamics are more complex than a simple extrapolation - the data, however, tell us that the risk of a continuous decline in the birth rate has become high (beyond the danger level)”.

Children born to Italians in a generation will be counted in the order of tens of thousands. Just listen to what the president of the Prenatal Diagnosis and Fetal Medicine Society Claudio Giorlandino has said in recent days. “Think that 10 years ago 600,000 Italians were born, this year there are only 294,000 born with Italian nationality and future projections are frightening. Italians are on the verge of extinction. According to projections in 2025 there will be fewer than 250,000! These paltry numbers of newborns are even more frightening when compared with the deaths. So, let's consider that already today, in 2022, we are losing over 500,000 compatriots a year. In a few decades there will be no more Italians! That wonderful people who, for over 2000 years, have been a beacon of civilization, culture and progress for all humanity will be lost. What is shocking is in fact the comparison between birth and death data. At this point the reality becomes terrifying. But no one realizes this terrible national demographic crisis that is there for all to see? Yet, the cities are full of advertisements, often macabre and embarrassing, of funeral homes..."

In 2050, the share of first and second generation immigrants in Italy will exceed one third of the total population. There will be one young man for every three senior citiznes. Italy, my country, will lose economic and social vitality, we will no longer count for anything on the international scene, we will be a country of crumbling welfare, high taxes and debt.

Five thousand villages and small towns will disappear.

In the last eight years, according to data from the ministry, 1,301 schools have been closed in Italy, 13.3 percent. There are currently 8,029 of them. At the rate of 100 closing a year, fewer than 5,000 schools will remain by 2050. We will lose 3,000 schools in just one generation. And foreign pupils will be more numerous than Italian ones.

It is as if Italy contracted one of those bacteria that can't be cured even with antibiotics. It is called decadence and beyond a certain point it becomes irreversible.

Giulio Meotti is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio and writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author, in English, of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books, in addition to books in Italian. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Gatestone, Frontpage and Commentary.