In the Sardinian town where no-one is having children

On Saturday nights in Oristano, a well-kept small town in Sardinia, a group of young couples in their late twenties and early thirties often meet for pizza.

“Many of us are unemployed but the one thing we all have in common is no children,” said Massimo Petretto, 29, who would love to start a family with his girlfriend, but like his friends, cannot afford it.

Petretto, who has a degree in communications, has applied for 30 jobs since the summer, to no avail. Like 71 per cent of all southern Italians aged 18 to 34, he is still living with his parents.

“With no job contract you can’t rent or certainly buy a house, and without that, children are unthinkable,” he said.

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