Italian Economy Struggling as Euro Crisis Visits Rome
After Spain, the focus of the euro crisis has now shifted to Italy, which is struggling with a shrinking economy and rising bond yields. Prime Minister Mario Monti has denied that his country will ask for an EU bailout, but optimism about Italy’s future is in short supply.
Claudio Pesaro actually had big plans for this year. The 35-year-old Italian, who still lives at home, wanted to buy his own place, marry his girlfriend and have children. But even though he has saved more than a third of the purchase price for a property, he can’t find a bank that is willing to lend him the rest. His job is also at risk, as his company is making losses. As a result, he will have to put his plans on ice for now.
Marco Michelli wanted to go into business for himself, starting a microbrewery complete with pub. Beer is popular in Italy, especially among the young. But the municipal authorities hampered him with conditions and fees, and the bank withdrew its commitment to fund his business. That was the end of his project.
These are just two typical stories from Italy, which is currently in the fourth year of its crisis. The mood in the country is depressed. The number of people committing suicide for economic reasons is increasing. The enthusiasm with which Italy greeted the introduction of the euro has long vanished. Now, around 65 percent of the population are skeptical of the common currency.