Financial Times upfront about where it sympathies lie: ‘Renzi is the last hope for the Italian elite’

Such an inconvenience for those in their villas, such as this one in Tuscany. Source.

Social and economic stress is rising every month in Italy, as are the political stakes for which Matteo Renzi, the reform-minded prime minister, is playing. Since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, no big European countries and few small ones have taken as big a hit as Italy.

In six years the country’s economy has shrunk by 9 per cent and manufacturing output has collapsed by 25 per cent. Unemployment is above 13 per cent of the workforce, and the youth jobless rate is more than 40 per cent — the highest level since the 1970s.

Public debt is set to rise in 2016 to 133 per cent of economic output. What makes this picture so bleak is that not all of these woes can be blamed on the eurozone’s sovereign debt and banking crises. Uniquely among the region’s 19 member states, Italy’s economy has barely grown at all since the euro’s launch in 1999.

Political conditions in Italy are also disturbing. In countries that, unlike Italy, required emergency financial rescues in 2010-13 from the EU and International Monetary Fund, two-party political systems are cracking under the strain of populist insurgencies. But in Italy things are well past that point…

The non-elite parties are referred to in the article as “populists.”  And it is not just mass immigration — the euro common currency has not worked out very well for the country.  The economy is in bad shape, as the article notes.

  • J. C.

    The current PM should consult with Berlusconi about designing tourism packages – An all-inclusive guided tour of the Tuscan countryside, complete with a winery tour, genuine Italian cuisine and an exclusive ‘Bunga Bunga’ party, LOL!!! 😉

    • Stronger Than Dirt

      Only the wealthy, politicians and EU Oligarchs can afford that.

  • Frau Katze

    Even the commenters at FT noticed it.

  • Hktony

    What has really damaged Italy most is the Italians! Yes immigration, the euro issues but Italy is a corrupt messed up place. Those that want to work go to London or any where else not run by Italians.

  • Pete_Brewster

    Of course. The FT’s target readership live very well off European debt-peonage. So, rest assured, do their trophy wives, mistresses and rentboys.

    You want to see what the interest on your mortgage and the national debt really gets spent on (along with the extra money made by shitcanning a Canadian in favour of a TFW), go read (no paywall). One would think they were ASKING for a big steaming cup of molten lead.

    • Billy Bob Thornton

      Sounds like a widely not just European problem but a widely Western problem.

      Here is why.

      The West only knows debt based societies, taking on more service, getting rid of the old industrial parts of the economy and quite frankly the Western politicians have no way to accurately structure economies and we don’t make anything the world wants.

      Adding China to the WTO was the biggest mistake ever for the West.

      To suggest that only Europe is responsible is laughable. This is following US style capitalism when state capitalism of the 1970’s worked quite well and most people did well.

      If the only reason in the 1970’s was to remove the old-style capitalism due to stagflation which happened due to the oil crisis of the early 70’s, then why not return back right now to state capitalism being 6 years into a new Great Depression!

  • Hard Little Machine

    If a trillion dollar economy in Europe implodes the rest can’t be far behind. You’d see the Eurozone go away almost overnight and every country for themselves. I think Germany and France would write off all their bad debts to Cyprus, Greece, Ireland and Spain, lick their wounds and move on. I doubt there’s even enough Arab money to keep the EU afloat if the Euro goes away. Once that happens bigger countries will leave the Schengen Area Agreement and erect fairly robust border and immigration controls.

    • Billy Bob Thornton

      I agree because all economies are tied and people seem to think that we are immune just because Harper says so. I have a feeling that people are in for a rude awakening. Also,, the EU is failing and will fail because there was no national independence. The mainstream is for leaving it as is but that is why newer parties are forming all over the place. The average person is suffering.

  • Freedom

    One thing going for the Italians is the Premier Matteo Renzi is a fighter. He is also not afraid of the Italian Mafia like the leaders in America. ( If you can still call them that in 2015)