Italy is in the doldrums economically. This is what you get when you have rampant unfunded social costs.
Companies are leaving Italy in droves, including Fiat. In one famous case the owner of an electrical components factory moved his business to Poland while his employees were sunning themselves in the summer holidays.
There is a very good reason why people are abandoning Italy as a place to do business. Even Kazakhstan and Tonga are better places to do business.
The saga has become a national cause celebre, sparking a debate about the number of Italian companies that are relocating their business to Eastern Europe and beyond, prominent among them Fiat, which has a plant in Poland.
Italy’s thickets of red tape, high social welfare costs and corruption mean that it fares dismally in terms of economic competitiveness.
In the World Bank’s most recent Ease of Doing Business survey, Italy ranks 73rd out of 185 countries, behind the likes of Tonga, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
While much of Europe appears to be slowly emerging from the worst recession since the Second World War, the Italian economy is going backwards, shrinking 0.2pc in the second quarter of this year. Read more »