Italy is economic trouble, according the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That conclusion is obvious, as is the usual refrain that only a quickening of reforms can pull the nation out of its GDP contraction. The IMF has made similar observations about nearly every other country in the world. Politicians hold the reins to the future, rather than investments banks, the financial sector, or private enterprise.
In its Concluding Statement of the IMF Mission, Consultation with Italy, titled “Beyond Austerity: Priorities for Reviving Growth,” the agency reported:
The authorities have taken bold steps since the late 2011 crisis to strengthen the public finances and transform the economy. The difficult reforms were necessary to restore confidence and bring Italy back from the brink. But growth prospects remain weak, unemployment is unacceptably high, and market sentiment is still fragile, underscoring that the task is far from complete. The new government has started to build on the steps taken to tackle Italy’s structural problems. Accelerating the momentum for reform will be essential to jumpstart growth and create jobs. Europe will also need to play its part with actions to address financial fragmentation and strengthen further the currency union.
Europe cannot “play its part” as long as austerity is the rule of the day.