Global bank crisis contagion hits Italy
The global ripple effect of the banking crisis seems to have Italy firmly in its grasp, the markets are not happy with Italy's response and have now downgraded the credit ratings of 24 Italian Banks. However, all is not as it seems and you need to look beyond the birth of the Euro currency and the banking crisis if you wish to understand the characteristics that make the Italian people and their economy different. Slot Game Online.
Italy's Anti Bank Protests
The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that started in the US have now have spawned Anti Banking and Anti-Berlusconi protests in Rome and other cities throughout Italy, as its disenfranchised peoples revolt against austerity measures caused by banking bailouts and commodity prices and a cost of living that has been artificially inflated by Bank speculation. Slot Game Online.
Meanwhile president Giorgio Napolitano exclaimed his "anguish" at Berlusconi's tardy efforts to stimulate Italian economic growth, Italy continues to grapple with budget deficits and high public debt. Italy's economic growth has averaged only 0.8% in the period 2001-2008 and GDP has contracted as the Euro zone and world economies have slowed. Slot Game Online.
Italy's GDP is expected to grow below the EMU countries' average, and you may well ask yourselves why. Well, Italian bureaucracy and the inefficiency this brings has traditionally been the brunt of many jokes, and whilst it has delivered a good giggle and a wealth of Italian jobs, the irony is that in this age of globalisation, this employment must deliver significant value if Italy is to avoid becoming less and less competitive. Also, this employment comes at a price, IMPS tax which for pays for pensions and Healthcare in Italy costs employees 20%, in the UK taxpayers are up in arms at the recent rise to 12%!! Add to this Tax rates of 27% for central government and 5% local government, and you are looking at rates of over 50% for much of the population plus IVA (VAT) on products of 20%. It's not hard to see why the black economy is so rife in Italy and why Italy has enormous structural issues that it must overcome. Just look at this table of the average income for developed countries after tax and you will see that Italy's average earnings lag in 19th place as the cost of commodities increase due to productivity, import levels and the Euro currency.
Despite this negativity, if you visit Italy on vacation or live there you will soon realise that there is more to life than being top earners or producers, the emphasis is firmly on localism and "small" and "slow" being eminently beautiful. Slot Game Online.
Italy 150 years of unification- but still gloriously fragmented
To fully understand the current malign you must gain an appreciation of Italy's history and culture. Italy is 150 years old this year (2011) and it's only a few generations since this young nation consisted of disparate autonomous regions and experienced insurrection and uprising as inhabitants rebelled against independent rulers that included the Catholic Church in Rome. In the meantime we have seen unprecedented industrialisation, migration from rural to urban areas and mass emigration to escape poverty. Slot Game Online.
Localism in Italy
The unification of Italy has done little to dampen "campanilismo" or loyalty to one's "campanile" or bell-tower, to the local community and its traditions. This "localism" may appear parochial but in essence it's a real source of pride in local history, culture, folklore, games, political thought, cuisine and creativity. The elements that bind communities together create a wonderful unique localism in every area that ensures that in moving forward, communities don't lose the sight of the roots that are an essential element of their being. Compare this to the global westernisation that is taking place elsewhere in which local customs and cultures are replaced with ubiquitous shopping malls that are temples in a soulless consumerist society. Slot Game Online.
If you step back from the tight knit rural communities and the superb array of local shops and produce, it's not hard to see that the high tax rates, the inefficiency and the lack of economies of scale, the grasp of digital technology and modern marketing techniques mean that many local companies in Italy are becoming uncompetitive and/or underselling themselves. Here in the region of Le Marche, many inhabitants are partially self sufficient, bartering is commonplace, using whatever produce is in surplus and the people are encouraged to shop and trade locally to ensure that money continues to flow for the benefit of the local community, in fact if you chat to the inhabitants you will find that many have never ventured far from home; most unusual in these days of globalisation.
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