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Italy's Economy Is in Trouble
Italians abroad have lots to say about how the homeland can change its ways and start getting serious about its finances
Recently, the ratings agency Standards and Poor's demoted Italy's debt outlook from stable to negative because of the country's lack of growth and the government's inability to reduce borrowing. In addition, the industrialist association Confindustria condemned the country for being unable to wake up the lethargic economy, according to the Associated Press. This round of bad news had many an Italian concerned about his own wallet. Even Italians who are stationed in other parts of the world, such as the United States and Australia, were wondering aloud what would happen to the value of money and property they have in Italy.
One Wall Street Journal writer from Italy described frantic, middle-of-the-night phone calls from friends and relatives who wanted to know what to do with their financial portfolio in light of the dramatic news. While the near future is anything but bright for Italy's economy, the experts are not quite throwing in the towel yet. And those Italians in the United States had lots of say about how the country could get back on its feet. Here are some of the suggestions I heard from friends and family (who, I should mention, know the south of Italy far better than the north):
1. Take shorter vacations.
2. Start hiring people, even immigrants.
3. Spend some money.
4. Stop supporting the black market.
5. End the nepotism.
Will these five ideas save Italy's economy? Probably not. There's a lot more to the sluggish economy and outrageous debt than these suggestions. But they would make a small step in changing the culture, which could somewhat benefit the economy in the long term. These are the first things that come to mind when you talk to Italians living abroad about money and their homeland.
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