By Matthew Melchiorre – For nearly 50 years before the early 1990s, one-party rule in Italy meant huge concessions to special interests, especially unions and professional guilds, to keep the peace in Parliament and thus keep Italy’s sizeable Communist Party from exploiting partisan disagreement to gain support.
One of the guilds’ most glaring protectionist achievements is the scarcity of taxis in Italy’s capital. Rome has less than a third fewer taxis per resident than London or Paris, because the Italian taxi guild lobbies and strikes to keep taxi licenses to a minimum and competition non-existent. When Monti introduced modest liberalizations to Italy’s taxi sector in January, drivers protested by blocking roads all over the country. more> http://tinyurl.com/af54g7q
Posted in Business, Economy, History, Leadership
Tagged Business, Government, Industrial economy, Italy, Jobs, London, Mario Monti, Matthew Melchiorre, Paris, Rome, Super regions
By Jonathan Cable and Kim Coghill – Euro zone factories sank deeper into recession in December as new orders tumbled, business surveys showed on Wednesday (Jan 2), a sharp contrast to continuing signs of revival in China.
“It’s pretty grim really,” said Jonathan Loynes at Capital Economics. “These surveys are pointing to a pretty deep recession. If the German industrial sector is contracting quite sharply it is pretty hard to see where growth across the euro zone as a whole is going to come from.”
Germany, Europe‘s largest economy, saw its crucial manufacturing sector shrink for the 10th straight month and at a faster pace, while French data showed a decline in all but one of the past 17 months. The slump in Spain deepened, while Italy’s index, although improved, remained below 50 for the 17th month. more> http://tinyurl.com/bkoxzz8
Posted in Business, Economy
Tagged Business, China, Eurozone, Germany, Industrial economy, Italy, Manufacturing, Recession, Spain, Super regions
SLIDE SHOW (6)
By Marc Jones – The euro slipped towards a two-week low on Monday while shares and Italian bond prices also fell after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti‘s decision to resign deepened euro zone uncertainty.
The competent economist has become an investor favorite over the last year for guiding through a string of reforms and the prospect of scandal-tainted former leader Silvio Berlusconi launching a bid to reclaim power rattled markets. more> http://tinyurl.com/ah4j8fk
By Catherine Hornby – Italian retail sales fell for the fourth month running in July, data showed on Wednesday (Sep 26), highlighting how austerity measures and unemployment are discouraging shoppers and deepening a year-long recession.
With Italians buckling under the impact of a severe recession, tax hikes, falling disposable incomes and rising unemployment, the prospects for a rebound in consumer spending are looking increasingly bleak.
“The drop is generalized across all sectors,” said Paolo Mameli from Intesa Sanpaolo. “Before supermarkets and discount shops were holding up, but now they are also registering falls.” more> http://tinyurl.com/bol5dk7
The Italian Boot
NASA – This oblique, night time panorama of much of Europe was photographed by one of the Expedition 32 crew members aboard the International Space Station flying approximately 240 miles above the Mediterranean Sea on Aug. 18, 2012.
The country of Italy is visible running diagonally southward from the horizon across the center of the frame, with the night lights of Rome and Naples being visible on the coast near the center. Sardinia and Corsica are just above left center of the photo, and Sicily is at lower left. The Adriatic Sea is on the other side of Italy, and beyond it to the east and north can be seen parts of several other European nations.