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Economic downturn, Italians rob the joy of life

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Closed shop in Milan: The number of bankruptcies is increasing

A country loses the courage to face life: economic stagnation and austerity measures to put the Italians, the country will slip this year, probably even deeper into recession. The policy ignores the most pressing problems.

“The Romans no longer laugh,” says Loredana, 45, “as many people as depressed now, I have not seen in my entire life.” Loredana is a teacher in the Italian capital and wants her last name not prefer to read in the media. She complains: “For many, the wallet is already empty before the end of the month.”No wonder, because incomes are falling, prices are rising, and the Government is also in the pockets of the citizens.

The crisis is evident everywhere in Rome: The restaurants are in the less frequented by tourists as empty areas such as furniture or houses clothing stores. Even the legendary sealed road – “Romans have no feet,” they say here, “but four wheels” – has been thinned by the extreme strong gasoline prices. Diesel is just under 1.80 euros, gasoline goes in the direction of two euros. The usual morning and evening gridlock on the streets now turns out – if not just once, buses and trains are on strike.

In many shop doors or windows is “vendersi” to sell. The number of bankruptcies is increasing, partly because the public sector can be more and more time to pay the bills of tradesmen and suppliers. A third of the Roman bankruptcies, the retail association is due to the fact. “Nobody knows where all this will lead yet,” complained a teacher Loredana.

It seems as a nation lose their zest for life – and just in Italy. That country, whose people are admired in Germany primarily for their ability to protect themselves under adverse circumstances, the good mood.

But of a good mood at the moment is little trace. Not in Rome, nor in the rest ofItaly . Whether in Milan, Naples and Tuscany: Who does not belong just to the rich ten percent, sees himself in a dark tunnel. Since 2008, Italy’s economic output has fallen by 4.4 percent. And 2012, the polls show the employers’ association Confcommercio among its members, may be even the worst recession year in the history of the country. Because Italy’s economic actors – consumers, businesses and government – to push each other down the valley.Consumers cut their purchases like never before, as a result of plummeting sales of business. In the first three months of this year, industrial production fell by 2.3 percent from the gross domestic product (GDP), ie the total economic output, up 1.6 percent. The third-largest economy in the euro-zone, it is feared, slipping deeper into recession.

Italy’s debt continues to grow

The government has played its part. Taxes rise. The substantial increase in property taxes, for example, especially for second-home drives many families to sell the ancestral house of the grandmother or financed on credit, one-bedroom holiday apartment on the Italian coast. This fall, house prices – not just in the center of Rome or Milan, but where the people of middle or low incomes to live – and to think anyway, hardly a new construction. More and more construction companies lay off workers or close altogether.

The number of unemployed is increasing. And although the government of the economic expert Professor Mario Monti wants actually go to a rigorous course to improve public finances, the debt grows even more dramatic. Because if the economy shrinks, falling tax revenues, even if the tax rates for the individual company or citizen, no matter how high. In February last year the Italian government was with 1875 billion euros in debt, this February, there were about 50 billion more: about 1.93 trillion. “We save ourselves but broken,” says the teacher Loredana Roman. But the majority of the Italians is more about Mario Monti – another straw she has not.

Improvement from 2013?

The ordeal was necessary in order “not to end up in Greek proportions,” said the prime minister his people again and again and promises will be better in 2013. In order to bring the economy back on a growth path that his government will put billions into infrastructure building, so new roads and rails, new ports and airports. A super-fast broadband network will soon make the entire country Internet capability. Even the infamous Italian justice will put on their toes, the government’s promise: Instead of going to an average of 1210 days, as now, to civil cases nearing completion after 394 days. But how and when will these things be, says the government is not as accurate. Especially not how she wants to pay for all this, without taking even more new billion debt.

Many seemingly non-economic structural problems, not the speech, while these factors dampen the growth potential in Italy:

  • The civil service is overstaffed and often totally incompetent – often fail to invest endless and complicated approval process.
  • The level of many schools and universities is modest, outdated technical equipment.
  • The judiciary lacks sometimes even fax or writing paper money, the police often lack of fuel.
  • In many regions and industries will earn the Mafia. And during the reign of Silvio Berlusconi have much political and economic elite accustomed to where the focus is always to stop the hand.

Santo Versace, president of the Versacemode Group and former member of Parliament in Berlusconi’s party, now summed up in one sentence why Italy is in his opinion “the abyss”: “We are the highest-taxed Estonians and corruption.”

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