Italians vote: vaffanc*lo!

Italian elections

In effect, that’s what Italy has been saying to politicians for many decades. Not to stray too far into the past, over the last 32 years Italy has come up with twenty prime ministers. On average, that’s a new PM every 18 months!

This election was as bad as expected, and there will be new elections in the next few months: “Instant polls released just after the close of the voting stations at 3 p.m. on Monday showed the center-left Democratic Party winning a majority in the lower house of Parliament. But projections released shortly after, based on early counting of actual votes, showed the center-right coalition run by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi leading in the upper house of Parliament, the Senate. That divide, if confirmed by the final vote tally, could steer the country back to a new election as early as this summer.”

The panel below provide a glimpse of how monetary policy has been ‘bad’ for the big countries, being almost ‘tailor-made’ for Germany!

Italy data

In terms of income per head (in comparable PPP units) we see that Italy stagnated over a decade ago. While up to the late 1990s, it was at a par with France; now it is losing out. Not that France did well. While France has stagnated, Italy is seeing income per head fall.

Spain was on a strong ‘convergence’ path. It caught up to Italy but now sees its income per head drop in tandem.

italy 2

Given that three out of the four largest eurozone economies are in the ‘intensive care’ unit, how long will Mr. Ollin Rehn’s (the Finnish EU economic affairs commissioner) optimism last?: “The current situation can be summarised like this: we have disappointing hard data from the end of last year, some more encouraging soft data in the recent past and growing investor confidence in the future.”

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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