Friday, 5 July 2013

La Miseria

The grocer in the village has stopped selling bread unless you have an order.  He explained the bakers have stopped taking back unsold bread and reduced the kinds of bread and other bakery products on offer.  It's a classic.  You can now order un pane once more, like all those years ago, and get what you're given.  It'll be un chilo di ciccia next and a lump of unidentified meat will be wrapped and handed.

The Italian statistical office has just issued its latest household consumption data [in English, should you care to look at the miserable collapse into ever-lower living standards and widespread poverty in all its detail, ed.]  Italian household consumption has fallen by the most since records began. 


Jeff Wood said...

I keep seeing closing down sales, and several bars I used to call at are now shuttered. Casual, discretionary spending has plunged.

Visitor numbers are well down over my way, both Italians and foreigners.

Feels like being in Britain again sometimes.

The only hope for Italy (and Portugal, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Cyprus and even France) is to leave the bloody Euro and devalue.

hatfield girl said...

Is it a matter of leaving J? The currency union will cease to exist should Italy choose to take control of itself. And it's not badly placed to do so, unlike the small economies. Stopping that choice being made is what the imposition of the current political improprieties and stasis are all about.

Jeff Wood said...

There are alternatives to leaving, but none address the basic problem: overvaluation of the "Italian Euro" by about 30%.

Only re-adopting the Lira addresses this fundamental point.

I have a strong sense of deja vu. Through most of my life the Pound was overvalued, with regular crises monetary and economic following each other.

Only in 1992, when British governments finally stopped defending overvaluation and let sterling float free, was the fundamental problem solved and the economy allowed to grow in a healthy fashion.

The British experience should have been a warning, and an inspiration, to everyone else before the Brussels goblins were allowed to set up their essentially political project.

Thing is, when politics and economics collide, economics wins though it can take some time and a lot of damage done.

cuffleyburgers said...

What Jeff Wood said.

Another series of headliones which caught my eye lately have been along the lines of IMF [or Brussels] reject abolition of IMU or keeping the current (high) rate of IVA rather than the proposed (stupid and costly to implement) increase...a couple of centuries back people felt strongly enough about taxation by remote, unelected bodies actually to do something about it.

at the end of the day we have only ourselves to blame if our governments take the piss.