Il Wall Street Journal ha oggi ben tre pezzi dedicati alla crisi italiana.
Il primo comincia così.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s penchant for dramatic flourishes is out of sync with a slow-burning debt crisis that demands steady political leadership and a clear plan to tackle Italy’s chronically low economic growth, some analysts and observers say.
In the space of two months, Mr. Berlusconi has unveiled a flurry of budget-tightening measures and countermeasures, sowing confusion among both supporters and critics.
Il secondo comincia così.
In the past, Silvio Berlusconi’s antics damaged Italy; today they may damage the entire euro zone. The Italian prime minister’s repeated revisions of a €45.5 billion ($65.71 billion) fiscal package needed to plug a budget hole risk further highlighting Italy’s perennial weaknesses: politics and growth.
Il terzo comincia così.
On Monday Silvio Berlusconi and his coalition partners agreed to their third fiscal-reform plan of the summer. The new plan swaps some tax hikes and spending cuts for others, and keeps Italy on track to balance its national budget in 2013. What it doesn’t include is any indication that the Italian economy will start growing again.
If Italy’s summer of austerity (complete with a wild ride on the bond market) teaches anything, it’s that economies can’t cut and tax themselves back to prosperity. Italy’s outstanding sovereign debt amounts to €1.9 trillion ($2.7 trillion), nearly a quarter of all sovereign debt in the euro zone. That would be less of a problem if the private Italian economy hadn’t been playing dead for the better part of a generation.