…everyone knows that Italy is on the slow train to ruin. Her public finances have been reasonably well run, but the economic fundamentals are skewed against her. Her poor demographic mean fewer workers ”“ and thus taxpayers and savers ”“ to fund the health and social costs of a greying populous. And, like Portugal and Greece, she is fundamentally uncompetitive, unable to match German levels of productivity and exports.
Il miracolo economico of the 1960s ”“ symbolised by millions of little Fiat 500s pouring out of bustling Turin ”“ was possible because a vast reservoir of underemployed agricultural workers could be lured into the cities. That cannot be repeated.