Looking out over the smouldering ruins of the country's institutions, with the only edifice left standing being that of the president of Italy, now almost 90, attention is caught by the new front opening in the real economy. Entrepreneurs have been shutting down plant for years and shifting to production in Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Poland and even the United States - shifting production to China is a decades-old practice - but the abandonment of factory and plant without hope of any further subsidy-farming is now being replaced by the abandonment of work-forces without provision for their welfare support. Not to mention the physical trucking of machinery and key-skills workers to new, extra-Italian sites. The Italian workforces have no redress; if they want to take up their jobs in Poland, for example, they can. Only they can't really, can they? For obvious reasons. Czy Pan mowi po Polsku?
Fiat has been the first example of a major industry exporting itself out of Italy, leaving only a fig-leaf structure behind but now the Italian steel industry seems to be taking its chance to shut down here. Following the sequestration of its assets throughout Italy over a dispute in a southern Italian steel plant (whoever thought making basic steel is a clean and non-polluting undertaking?) about environmental conditions around the plant, the company has closed its sophisticated northern Italian production and research and logistics companies and sacked the workforce. 1500 highly-skilled workers in northern Italy are now out of work and (after a frantic meeting of Enrico Letta's government) on welfare benefits wholly funded by the tax-payer (no contribution from their erstwhile employer; after all, their industry has had its assets sequestered).
No government truly running an advanced capitalist European country would find itself scrambling to contain the actions of a magistrate in a mean little town in a depressed area acting off their own bat to affect industrial policy and sophisticated output for export in the productive sectors of the national economy.
It wouldn't really matter for most of us what Italy does, except, these repellent incompetents are sliming round European capitals being ever so 'umble, pushing their agenda for their 'presidency' of the European Union after the New Year.
Their agenda consists of mutualising their debt, allocating European tax-payers' resources to their elitist local expenditures, demanding we take their banks and themselves at their own estimate, maintaining themselves in national power at any cost, and insinuating themselves into European power whenever and wherever they can. If Italy is taken seriously in its claims to being a worthy counterparty to anyone or anything we will have only ourselves to blame for losses.