Friday’s on this blog are supposed to be dedicated to Italian women in wine but today I am so disturbed by the latest economic news from that country that I feel it should be mentioned.
As I read with dismay the news about Italy’s rising borrowing costs, worsening debt to GDP ratio and increased bond spreads, I remember this same situation from 10 years ago when I was a financial reporter in Milan. It is just awful to see how little progress has been made in their labor markets, growth strategies and government rules. Prime Minister Berlusconi has been a disaster on this front in my opinion but even from those who do support him, they think he is at least ineffectual.
While most of Italy has gone away for the month of August, especially these two central weeks around the ferragosto holiday, no one is immune to the woes of this latest turn of events which are threatening the Euro and the European Union’s financial stability.
I have no immediate solution to this problem and will be glued to the papers, the internet and the TV to understand what the ramifications of all of this are but one small thing we can do to help is buy and drink more Italian wine. I don’t mean to sound flippant. The food and wine industry is an important part of Italy’s GDP. Exports are basically saving the wine industry as Italians diminish their per capita intake. Let’s all do our part to help “il Bel Paese.”