Rome, June 3 - The government is set to unveil tax breaks for firms that give young people steady jobs amid recession-hit Italy's worsening youth-unemployment crisis, Industry Minister Flavio Zanonato said Monday. Unemployment among 15-to-24-year-olds hit a 36-year high of 41.9% in the first quarter of 2013. Italy also has Europe's highest proportion of young people doing "nothing", with almost a third of 15-to-29-year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEET). "We have 2.5 million youngsters who are not working and not studying, or have given up on trying to find a job," Zanonato said, announcing the incentives for businesses who hire young people long-term. Premier Enrico Letta on Friday vowed to have a national action plan against youth unemployment in place before the issue is addressed at June's summit of European Union leaders.
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di Giovanni Pastore