Thursday, December 13, 2007

You think your country is falling to pieces?

Today's New York Times dedicates 4 pages to Italy's spiraling decline. Decades of soaring debt, ineffective government, stagnant competitiveness, and on and on have generated a type of malaise over the young people of this country. (What the Times refers to as "malessere"). They're angry. They want change. They want it now, if not sooner.

This story breaks little ground. Time wrote a cover story in 2006 about Italy's disaffected youth. The Economist was even more harsh in 2005. I too wrote a column about this topic a few months back and was flooded with emails and comments from Italians around the world. (One Italian asked me if I thought the UK would consider invading Italy. Not unless they get the OK from Washington, I'd say.)

Today's Times article does a brilliant job of capturing the tension and despair felt from north to south, the stuff I hear at dinner parties in Rome, walking along the streets of Perugia and read about every day. The best part of the NYT piece is the video they produce about Beppe Grillo. Classic stuff!


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