few weeks ago, an Italian magazine asked me to illustrate graphically how I see Italy from abroad. I am incompetent at drawing, but an image instantly popped in my mind: the Costa Concordia shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea in 2012. Italy, too, is a beautiful ship slowly sinking because of the ineptitude of its captain — or captains, as it were. Surprisingly, this is not the view most Italians have of their own country. Most recognize the Italian ship is taking water on board, and that in theory it could sink by defaulting on its public debt. But Italians have faith that the Stellone Italiano (the Italian lucky star) will save them at the last minute, just as it has historically bailed out the Italian soccer team in World Cup matches.
Yet, just as the Italian lucky star seems to have abandoned the national soccer team, which failed to qualify for the upcoming World Cup for the first time in 60 years, it might also be inadequate as Italy approaches the astral combination of three crucial events: the end of monetary quantitative easing, the possibility of a U.S. recession (which some forecasters estimate at 50 percent in the next two years), and the national election on March 4.
The latter is the only event within the direct control of Italians themselves. But looking at the economic platforms of their various political parties, there’s little reason to hope they will take this last chance to save their country.
Full Article: Italy’s Election Is a Shipwreck – Foreign Policy.