Italy Must Choose Between the Euro and Its Own Economic Survival

Renaissance bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena is the most spectacular casualty of Italy’s banking crisis

by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Italy is running out of economic time. Seven years into an ageing global expansion, the country is still stuck in debt-deflation and still grappling with a banking crisis that it cannot combat within the paralyzing constraints of monetary union.

“We have lost nine percentage points of GDP since the peak of the crisis, and a quarter of our industrial production,” says Ignacio Visco, the rueful governor of the Banca d’Italia.

Each year Rome hopefully pencils in a fall in the ratio of public debt to GDP, and each year the ratio rises. The reason is always the same. Deflationary conditions prevent nominal GDP rising fast enough to outgrow the debt.

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