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Italy Exits the Recession and Stands Still

There are alarming signs that while Italy is finally leaving its recession behind, its economy is about to enter a period of stagnation. Italy’s businesses are reluctant to invest – ask Italy’s banks how many are taking out loans. The same businesses are not taking on new people either. Italians are voting with their feet and leaving Italy in droves.

Meanwhile, the Emerald Isle, otherwise known as Ireland, has not only left the recession behind, it’s growing once again.

Why is Italy standing still while Ireland is forging ahead? Quite simple, Ireland has good leaders, Italy does not. While Ireland acted, Italy dithered and, alas, is still dithering. Italy’s government appears to have forgotten how to do what it’s supposed to do, not that government in Italy was ever that inspiring anyway.

One pities those businesses who could do very well if they were provided with the right environment, but it sounds as if many have virtually given up hope. The head of Italy’s Confindustria employers’ association has just about gone silent – he’s probably lost his voice, poor chap. His predecessor, Emma Marcegaglia was much more vociferous in calling for Italy’s  government to pull its finger out – not that the government ever did, but at least she tried.

Now Italy has ended up with a form of non-government which is so dire, it’s shocking. Nobody really knows what the government is doing to sort matters out. Well, it’s talking a lot, and bickering even more. But is it acting? Nope. It’s as if the government has absolutely no idea what to do at all. No new ideas are emerging.

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Even holding elections wouldn’t help – there’s still nobody really worth voting for, with the possible exception of Matteo Renzi and Beppe Grillo’s people, without whom, Italy would probably have been taken over by the EU by now.

Just where the heck are all the much needed reforms? Absolutely nowhere in sight. It’s a disgrace, it really is. Italy’s enormous potential is being thrown away simply because there is nobody in power capable of appreciating this nation’s potential and getting Italy to work together.

So much for a new beginning, it seems Italy’s leaders are determined to ensure Italy goes nowhere, but be extremely well paid in the meantime. Italians, on the other hand, would quite like something to happen, those who haven’t given up and left Italy, that is. Heck, Italian businesses are moving to Switzerland and Austria – but this has not generated any constrictive action. Not one jot.

Come on Italy, you can do much better than this and please find some half decent, competent, dynamic leaders too.

Grrrrr. Gripe over.

P.S. I’ve just read today that the EU is rather unhappy with Italy’s government’s tendency to spin round in ever decreasing circles, so it’s not just me who thinks Italy could do a lot better. Italy’s government doesn’t think Brussels should be worried – which is very worrying.

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