Italy has faced a mounting debt problem over the past 30 years with debt totalling more than 130 percent of its economic output, second in the eurozone after Greece.
Pensioner Alberto Mazzelli told Al Jazeera that ditching the lira bought nothing but problems for Italians. He said: “It was supposed to be 2000 lira to the euro but what used to cost 1000 lira suddenly became one euro.
“So, somebody stole half of our money.”
The Italian lira was the official currency in Italy until January 1, 1999, when it was replaced by the euro.
Another Italian said Italy should remain in the euro but warned: “No, I don’t think we should leave but we should renegotiate so we are not bowing our heads to Germany.”
One Italian said: “I’d be ok with trying to leave the euro. But, of course, things could get even worse.”
Following months of uncertainty, Italian voters saw a eurosceptic coalition Government led by academic Giuseppe Conte become prime minister.
Talks about a potential coalition between Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) and Lega collapsed on Sunday when Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella vetoed the appointment of eurosceptic Paolo Savona as finance minister.
Following the veto, Lega leader Matteo Salvini threatened fresh elections which could have turned into a vote of Italy’s confidence in the eurozone, with market players fearing it will become a de facto referendum on the single currency and Italy’s role in the European Union.
But the future of the euro could still at stake as Italy decided on a new economy minister, economics professor Giovanni Tria, who has been critical of the EU’s economic governance. But, unlike Savona, he has not advocated a “plan B” for possibly exiting the euro.
The coalition’s programme has not changed since it was presented at the first attempt to form a government last week.
Their manifesto says it will push the EU to review the bloc’s rules that limit public spending.