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11 Signs That Italy Is Descending Into A Full-Blown Economic Depression

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The Leaning Tower Of PisaWhen you get into too much debt, really bad things start to happen.  Sadly, that is exactly what is happening to Italy right now.  Harsh austerity measures are causing the Italian economy to slow down even more than it was previously.  And yet even with all of the austerity measures, the Italian government just continues to rack up even more debt.  This is the exact same path that we watched Greece go down.  Austerity causes government revenues to drop which causes deficit reduction targets to be missed which causes even more austerity measures to become necessary.  But if Italy collapses economically, it is going to be a far bigger deal than what happened in Greece.  Italy is the ninth largest economy on the entire planet.  Actually, Italy used to be number eight, but now Russia has passed it.  If Italy continues to stumble, India and Canada will soon pass it as well.  It really is a tragedy to watch what is happening in Italy, because it really is a wonderful place.  When I was a child, my father was in the navy, and I got the opportunity to live there for a while.  It is a land of great weather, great food and great soccer.  The people are friendly and the culture is absolutely fascinating.  But now the nation is falling apart.  The following are 11 signs that Italy is descending into a full-blown economic depression…

#1 The unemployment rate in Italy has risen to 12.2 percent.  That is the highest that it has been in more than 35 years.

#2 The youth unemployment rate in Italy is sitting at 38.5 percent, and in southern Italy it recently hit the 50 percent mark.

#3 An average of 134 retail outlets are shutting down in Italy every single day.  Overall, approximately 224,000 retail establishments have closed since 2008.

#4 Italy’s economy has now been contracting for seven quarters in a row.

#5 It is being projected that Italy’s GDP will shrink by 1.8 percent this year.

#6 Industrial production in Italy has declined for 15 months in a row.  It has now fallen to its lowest level in about 25 years.

#7 Overall, factory output in Italy has fallen by about one-fourth since 2008.

#8 In May, automobile sales in Italy were down 8 percent compared to one year earlier.

#9 The number of people that are considered to be “seriously deprived” in Italy has doubled over the past two years.

#10 Italy now has a debt to GDP ratio of 130 percent.

#11 It is being projected that Italy will need a major EU bailout within six months.

At this point, Italy is flat broke.

And unlike the U.S. or Japan, Italy cannot run over to a central bank and have them print up oodles of new money with which to buy up government bonds.  Italy is married to the euro, and so that greatly limits their options.  Unfortunately, the money is rapidly running out.  The following is from a recent article by Wolf Richter

In most countries, it would be an act of mind-bending chutzpah, or perhaps a display of political insanity, but in Italy it barely made ripples: for a government official, a minister no less, to declare that the country cannot pay its long overdue bills, and not for a month or two, but for the rest of this year! Due to “technical” problems.

The Italian government is out of money. Not that the US government is in any better shape in that respect, or the Japanese government for that matter, but they have central banks that print the missing moolah with lavish abandon. Italy doesn’t. It has the ECB which is run by an Italian who promised last year to print with lavish abandon to keep countries like Italy afloat. But that promise is not the same thing as having your own central bank.

On July 4, Italy’s budget fiasco came to light once again. Wracked by the pretense of austerity, expenditures rose 1.3% in the first quarter, while revenues remained flat. So the deficit rose to 7.3% of GDP, up from 6.6% last year, bringing the national debt to 130% of GDP. Ballooning debt and deficits in a shriveling economy – Italy has been in recession since the fourth quarter of 2011 – is a toxic combination in the Eurozone.

While those numbers may sound really bad, the reality is that the people that are suffering the most are the average folks on the street.  Many Italians have been completely blindsided by this economic depression, and suicides are skyrocketing

In Italy, the tragic stories of suicides apparently linked to the deep recession are becoming all too frequent. Last month, a former factory worker hanged himself near Turin because he could not find work, his relatives said. In May, a young man committed suicide outside of Rome shortly after he lost his job. The next day, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano begged the government to deliver “the utmost attention for situations of greatest malaise and need” to help stop the wave of suicides.

That is absolutely tragic.

But you know what?

The United States is headed down the same path that Italy has gone.

In the coming years unemployment and suicide will both skyrocket here too.

Those that are sticking their heads in the sand right now will be absolutely blindsided by what is coming.  But those that understand what is on the horizon and are preparing for it will have the best chance of making it through.

Italy is kind of like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Everyone knows that it is going to fall eventually, and when it does fall it is going to be a major disaster.

When the financial system of Italy totally implodes, that will be a sign that things are really starting to accelerate.  Expect dominoes to start tumbling much more rapidly in the aftermath.

  • cpgone

    #3 > Vs How many are opening.?
    Some have to open and or replaced by larger/more efficient competitors.

  • Ralfine

    I’d rather see the cause in the relaxed attitude of mediterranean countries and peoples.

    You see the same attitude in the descendants of romans, like spain, portugal, latin america.

    Or old-type church like catholics, greek-orthodox, muslim.

    Countries with protestantism and judaeism are different. Jews are also old, but suppressed, and therefore always needed to adapt. In the dark ages the only job they were allowed to do was money lending. for example.

    People growing up in ice and snow, or fishing the north seas might seem grumpy, but they are preppers.

    • Kim

      Your post makes no sense.

    • Michael frim Australia

      Actually The Italian, Greek, Latin types here in Australia were very hard working, paid off their houses quicker, receiving jealous remarks from the people whose ancestors, in your words, grew up in ice & snow.

      Nevertheless, there is some truth in your comment,as those in southern Europe after the 1950’s started to follow non-traditional family values, as wanting to go out & party all the time. they are now receiving the fruit of their labours.

    • Fabrizio Formica

      First of all,Italians are descendants of the Romans,the other people you mention are not,even though Spain,Greece and Portugal were for centuries under Roman rule: just as Britain was.Now that this basic historic fact has been cleared up,the problem with the Italian economy is called “euro”.before the euro,the sickman of Europe was…germany,not Italy! With the euro they -the germans- are putting our products out of the marketplace,partially thanks to “European” legislation which actually is tailored to incentivate german products at the expense of all other partners…..the rest is B.S.

      • Ralfine

        Yes, the Euro benefits German Industry first. That’s why Germany won’t leave the EURO.

        Before Berlusconi Italy was known for having three governments in 2 months.

        • Fabrizio Formica

          Actually Ralfline I have to correct your view….Italy had done away with the Mafia in the 1930’s….Prefect Mori used military techniques and the suspension of human rights in his successful fight against the Mafia.The surviving mafiosi ended up behind the slammer or fled to the US.then on July 10 1943 the Americans invaded Sicily and guess what? they brought the mafia back! Mafiosi actually landed in Sicily alongside allied troops….so today’s mafia is actually due to the Allies’ landing of 1943….even wikipedia carries this information.

          • Ralfine

            So, Napoli can blame their rubbish problem on the US?

          • Fabrizio Formica

            Absolutely…the camorra had been destroyed in the early 1900’s and was brought back to life with the black market thriving following the allied landing in Salerno…in Sicily,Fascist mayors (“podestà”),were systematically replaced by US imported mafiosi,who could boast being persecuted under the fascist regime 20 yrs earlier.If you do not belive me,check out independent sources on “prefetto Mori” or on the role that Lucky Luciano played in the allied invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky).

    • Michelangelo

      The problem in south Italy Greece and Spain is chiefly the arabic blood and islamic religion t hat is born out from the Mesopotamic civilisation based on satraps over a fatalist crowd. There is no turnover in that a society and the persons stregthens self-defense and dissimulation. And now USA also are falling on that.

      • Fabrizio Formica

        You are ill-informed.The Italians have always fought muslims and the Turk,check out the history of the “repubbliche marinare”.Sicily was freed from arabic domination by the Normans -who would settle in the island themselves- around the same time that the Normans invaded and conquered Britain.A century later,the surviving arabs were deported under Federick II from Sicily to Lucera,Apulia.Considering there was no way to assimilate them,the males were drowned in open sea,the women and children sold off as slaves….so much for “arabic blood” in the make-up of Italy….

  • Francoh

    No positives from Michael. Ever. Just the bad. He needs to scare people. I can write articles not as biased and with lots of reason to be hopeful. But the people here dwell on bad news. They love and thrive on it. And complain that we are all steeple. You jerks are michaels steeple.

    • RarefiedSnotress

      Not only that, but he censors comments that don’t fit into his narrow worldview.

      • Graham

        If that was the case I would be “barred”.

        Some material I have posted does get censored, but that may be for legal reasons and not attracting the roaming brigades that are paid by their masters to watch for it.

        If sensitive areas are accurately and properly exposed, that is enough to have a blog taken out, or seriously interfered with.

        • RarefiedSnotress

          say something that doesnt follow mainstream religion.. (doesn’t have to blasphemous) and you’ll find out

          • Graham

            I have already been able to say plenty. Note that “mainstream” thinking is not my forte.. by choice.

            I learned about the dangers of “collective group thinking” a long time ago so I prefer in most cases to remain as an “observer”.

            As the truth continues to unfold, people will eventually realise they have to shift many of their world views and personal beliefs.

            Don’t think the authorities haven’t carried out background studies to anticipate what would happen if they suddenly told the “mainstream” about certain facts and truths.

            They have other plans to deal with things and in hindsight, the “rapture” and “saved” tactic is probably very clever.

            I just don’t condone any form of deception, especially having learned how much is being kept hidden.

            The mind of “God” contains infinite answers, it just depends on how you chose to access it. I use contemplation and meditation.

          • Gay Veteran

            You’re a troll. I post comments that many would consider to be “anti-religion”

    • Richard

      Fool. Sentimental, sappy idiot. If you want rah-rah material, open up any mainstream newspaper of your choice and have at it.

    • Graham

      Some may come here purely to compare what’s being said with what their intuition tells them, or to simply clarify what they hear about or read elsewhere. In a sense, there is also a “family” present here, so some feel a sense of belonging with like minded people, who may also have differing views.

      Many are also realising that the mainstream media does the opposite of what their intuition may be telling them and that causes confusion, especially coming from a so called recognised and (previously) trustworthy “voice of authority”.

      The latter is now very heavily controlled and regulated. It is a very powerful programming tool that non thinkers have become accustomed to. It tells you what to think and feel, yet rarely ever gets into the guts of the truth.

      Some may also be fedup with horror movies and come here instead. The difference is a movie is a projection on a screen, whereas this site disseminates facts.

      Have you tried the Disney channel?

    • colllaro

      Why does he “need” to scare people? If you have some positive news for us, please share it. +FD

    • colllaro

      Sheeple, not steeple. +FD

  • markthetruth

    The home of the Italian mafia ‘turns to wind farm investment to launder money and benefit from EU subsidies’

    the end…

    • Graham

      The product they are investing in is on average 8% efficient in its power return to the grid. Yet another ludicrous global warming hoax idea that scars the landscape and interferes with winged nature.

  • Liveinitaly

    Unfortunately as someone who lives and sees everyday life in italy, although this article is melodramatic, it has truth to it. The economy here is really screwed. There aren’t really any words to say how it is becoming more and more depressed. The governments own social/employment rules and costs that businesses must adhere to make it impossible to recover, it is too expensive to actually work legally here, it won’t change as the government is a complete joke who can’t organise anything let alone a financial system that actually rewards work and intelligence.

  • Bushisugly

    Italy is a mafia country completely unable to handle its crisis. First it will lead Europe into chaos and then it will just be a question of time before some fascists or communists come to power.

    • cpgone

      Agree> Italy is run by a organized crime ring like our Military industrial complex. Difference is we can print our own money and fund the killing machine , for now.

  • JailBanksters

    Well, I would say not being able to pay your bills is pretty much at the top of the List. So at least the Italian Government are being some what Honest.
    Unlike the US,UK Governments which are already Bankrupt, and can only pay their previous Loans by borrowing more money to pay off those Loans.
    Infinite Loans, Perpetual Money call it what you like, but take away their Credit Cards and their totally stuffed. Reducing the Amount you pile on the Credit Card is not actually fixing your Debt Addiction.

  • Rodster

    Don’t you just love how they continue to use the word recession instead of depression? The govt media complex does the same thing here.

    I guess if you are a corrupt, criminal politician what’s the big deal not telling the american people we too are in a depression.

  • Rodster

    In the UK over 1 million rely on food banks and charitable donations from supermarkets due to govt cutbacks.

    • Shawn DeFreitas

      In Toronto, Canada there are over 700,000 people living below $20,000 per year and are in poverty. The population of Toronto is roughly 3 million people.

      And Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan, USA are some of the poorest areas by the Canada-US border.

  • Shawn DeFreitas

    Do I see a construction crane in the background of the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

    Why is it that after a construction frenzy, comes an economic depression?

    My home city Vancouver, Canada had a construction frenzy from 2008 to 2012. This year, a few homes which used to sell for $2 million dollars are listed as $1 million or less with no buyer.

    Speaking of which, businesses are bringing in 100,000s of temporary workers per year in Canada because it seems as if $8-10 per hour minimum wage is too costly for them..Even the Royal Bank of Canada was offshoring banking jobs overseas!

    Who is going to buy those million dollar cottages in Vancouver and $700,000 one bedroom homes, $500,000 condominiums in Toronto? Not the unemployed and underemployed Canadians.

    This economic crisis is a global phenomenon that is why it is disturbing.

    • crusader2010

      The Construction crane is from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and The United Arab Emirates, buying up what the west can no longer afford. enjoy sharia.

      • rien

        you forget the rich Jews, darling !

  • PanzerMeyer


    How ironic you posted the leaning Tower of Pisa to represent Italy’s descent into a full-blown economic depression. The Tower of Pisa has been leaning for over 600 yrs and still standing. Kind of reminds me that your constant warnings of economic collapse over the years is not happening. You’re just leaning over and in the mean time, life is good! Lol….

    Hey! I’m only joking – I actually agree with most of what you say, but couldn’t resist giving you the nudge.
    John B.

  • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

    I just posted a new article that many of you may want to check out…

    Has The Era Of Genetically Pure “Gattaca Babies” Now Begun?


  • collaro

    Italian President Giorgio Napolitano… I wonder if he is related to ‘Big Sis.” +FD

  • Harrison Terran

    Italy is in the midst of a vicious circle of economic incapacity! Fewer jobs mean less job security, leading to the inability of everyday people to be approved for mortgages! Furthermore it’s becoming impossible to buy anything because costs are constantly increasing. Obviously Italian politicians are at a loss…it’s time they spoke to the real specialists in the economic crisis like the ones at the Orlando Bisgena Index. In addition to measuring the intensity of the crisis in various countries, they have also improved the economic situation of many citizens, helping numerous counties with debt problems, unemployment and business failures.

  • Christer Larsson

    Italians are in much better shape than most other Europeans and for sure better than Americans. This is because the country is poor but the people are rich with their houses all paid for. Very few Italians have loans on their house. How is it in USA ?

  • Andrea

    I’m an italian guy, born, raised and living in Italy. I’ve been reading this blog for quite some time, this is the first time I’ve posted a comment. I can confirm the italian economy is screwed up. I don’t think it’s gonna completely collapse anytime soon though, unless something big, unpredictable and unexpected happens. I think they’ll manage to kick the can down the road for a little while longer, so to say. Nobody’s got the balls to pull the plug, the patient’s got to live somehow, it doesn’t matter if the illness is terminal. Fact is, either something changes on an european level (which I highly doubt) or countries like Italy had better consider leaving the euro zone. It may be the lesser evil. Strangely, that still seems to be a taboo subject for most of our (useless) politicians. It’s getting tougher and tougher for everybody out there. The italian youth has no future anymore, an increasing number of young lads are considering relocating or have already left the country hoping to find something better. Everybody on the mainstream media keeps saying austerity isn’t enough, you also need “growth”. They have no clue about economics. As long as austerity is there, there can’t be any growth whatsoever. By the way, lots of people forget that a growth within our current system would be no longer ecologically sustainable. Unfortunately, only a huge economic collapse might force people to abandon this crazed model of development… To Michael: a forgotten economist, Silvio Gesell figured it all out a long time ago already… have you ever heard of him?

  • Patriot Alice

    Too big to fail rule applies…Don’t worry, be happy…Bailout is in the works….

  • Louise in MO

    Michael from Economic Collapse

    Why am I able to post a comment with my disqus name for a few days and then it disappears? I’ve had to “sig up more times than I can count. Then I have to comment as a guest?

    It’s annoying.

  • Tony

    Austerity will only further atrophy labor and capital, resulting in a further contraction of GDP and on and on it will continue. Austerity is a failed policy, cannot work, never has worked, and is code word for wage suppression and destruction of workers’ economic rights.

    Secondly, a deficit reductions are the fiscal equivalent of tax increases – they both remove income from the economy,

    Thirdly, the US doesn’t run over to the central bank. Under a fiat system, all spending precedes taxation and borrowing. It’s effectively done with money that is already spent. The debt obsession is ridiculous. All US debt represents is the total savings of the private sector and their desire to net save in US financial assets. All those federal liabilities, whether in the form of dollars or bonds, are assets to the public at large,

  • associazionegiuridica

    You made up the data: the deficit is below 3% of GDP.

    7% of the debt is due to loans made to Ireland, Spain, Greece and Portugal.

    The industrial production is growing by 3 months.

    Find out more before writing.

  • rien

    nous allons à la mort !

    Le Brebis Galleux Blog

  • rien

    La chutzpah des Rothschild-Goldman-Sachs
    Le Brebis Galleux Blog

    • rien

      ” chutzpah”, well done ! we also start to use this hebrew word in France ! We are compelled to !

  • Greg Irvine

    The flaw in all arguments that talk about economic recovery is TIME. In the 20s, 30s and 40s populations were relatively low, there will still vast untapped treasure troves of natural resources. We had barely made a dent in the vast oil reserves etc. In these times recovery from a great depression or whatever was a certainty. Fast forward through 70 odd years of economic growth with finite resources and massive population increases to today. Resources are scarce and getting scarcer by the minute. There are Billions more people. The scenario is NOT the same! The economics of infinite growth with finite resources will, quite literally kill us all and I suspect quite soon. This is a mathematical certainty. There will no recovery. The situation will get worse and worse. Wars will ensue and eventually total and complete collapse. All because of the stupidity of our economist advised spineless politicians.

  • Globetrotter

    Italy’s decline like other latin / catholic european countries has to do with the culture and their past. Italian mentality is what has destroyed the country, they are too proud and too lazy to work that is why they are declining…and they are unwilling to change or adapt…they arent flexible people at all. Anglo saxon / protestant countries are more flexible and progressive..they change and adapt thats why they survive nowadays…but countries like italy, greece, spain, portugal have zero future…France is still better than all these because french have a different mentality…they are hard working and not afraid to experiment…french are also open to other cultures and innovation…a simple example when u go to Paris u will find thousands of multi cuisine restaurants…chinese, indian, middle eastern, japanese etc…go to rome or milan there are hardly any non italian retaurants…italians only eat italian food and hate everything else…thats why they are a mess as a country because they cant accept a changing world. Most italians ive dealt with were negative, scummy, losers really very few are intelligent and progressive.

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