Is Italy a basket case?

Irreversible demise.  Deflation.  High unemployment.  Stagnation.  Huge sovereign debt.  High taxes.  A bloated, parasitical and corrupt state sector.  Zero growth.  The sick man of Europe.

These are the very serious problems confronting Italy as seen in this hard hitting article in the London Spectator titled ‘Italy’s in terminal decline, and no one has the guts to stop it‘.  Recently, the FT reported that, on 5 December, ‘Standard & Poor’s cut Italy’s credit rating to BBB- or one level above junk, citing a growing debt pile, low growth and lack of competitiveness. The rating agency predicted growth of 0.2 per cent in 2015, a weak exit from its third recession in six years’.  Italy now ranks below Turkey, Kuwait and South Africa in the internationally accepted ranking of public sector corruption.  It is hard to call the current situation a crisis, notes the historian John Foot, because crises have an end – Italy just keeps declining. Continue reading