Italy, as seen by the New York Times
Today, the New York Times published an article on Italy floundering and on V-day. The newspaper’s website contains a long article, a video and a series of photographs entitled “A life less dolce”.
From the article entitled “In a Funk, Italy sings an Aria of disappointment”:
“A low-tech lifestyle may enchant the tourists, however, the use of Internet and e-commerce is amongst the lowest in all of Europe, as are salary levels, foreign investment and growth. Pensions, public debt and administration costs, instead, are amongst the highest.
The latest data depicts a nation that is increasingly ageing and poor, to the point where the country’s most eminent bishop has proposed an increase in the number of food parcels for the poor.
70% of Italians between 20 and 30 years of age is still living at home with Mom and Dad, condemned to an increasingly lengthy and unproductive adolescence. Many of the most intelligent ones are leaving Italy, just as many of their predecessors did just a century ago.
American Ambassador Ronald Spogli, who has an intimate knowledge of Italy dating back some forty years, warns that Italy is at risk of seeing its international role diminish, as well as its relations with Washington. America’s best friends are its business partners, and Italy is not one of the most important of these. The country’s level of bureaucracy and its unclear rules have led to USA investments in Italy dropping to only 16.9 billion Dollars in 2004, while investments in Spain stood at 49.3 billion.
In Denmark, 64% of people have faith in their Parliament, while in Italy, this figure drops to 36%. Statistics show that 11% of all Italian families are living below the poverty line, and that 15% of them find it difficult to survive through to the end of the month on their salaries”.
This is how the world sees us. All things that frequent visitors to the blog already know, but it is comforting to see the facts being confirmed by an international newspaper.
At 10h30 today, I will be taking a three-person rickshaw to Palazzo Madama in Rome, in order to deliver the signatures, in support of the popular demand for a “Clean Parliament” Law to be passed, to Senate Chairman Franco Marini. I will be pedalling, bearing the boxed forms, down Via Giuseppe Zanardelli, along Via Sant’Agostino, Corso del Rinascimento, Via Santa Giovanna D'Arco and Via della Dogana Vecchia. I will ask Franco Marini to table the popular law before the Senate as soon as possible. Stay tuned.