The ongoing Eurozone crisis has hit Italy severely, and the country is now under acute economic and political stress. Italy has been compared to other EU countries at the center of the crisis, such as Greece and Spain, but in spite of some common traits, the origin and development of the crisis in each of these countries have been quite different. Because of the differences in the underlying economic structures, the causes of the current Italian problems (such as slow economic growth, high public debt, high youth unemployment, etc.) are deeply-rooted, and the crisis only exposed many of them more clearly. Even if relevant differences among EU countries persist, the difficulties in solving these issues are arguably similar across Europe, and mainly political. The answer to the crisis requires the political will to put forward both national reforms and coordinated and joint policy interventions at the EU level. In the past, the determination to maintain its role as one of the “founding members” of the European Union helped Italy to implement policies that were unthinkable in ordinary times, in pursuit of tighter European integration, and shocks worked as catalysts in the process, both for Italy and for the EU as a whole. If this will once be more the case, a way out of the crisis can certainly be found.
Lucia Tajoli is associate professor of economics at the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, where she teaches Economics and International Economics. She graduated in Economics at Bocconi University in Milan, where she received her PhD in Economics in 1994. She is also a visiting scholar at Bocconi University and University of Michigan. Professor Tajoli is a senior research fellow at the Istituto di Studi di Politica Internazionale in Milan, a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Trade Study Group, and of the Italian Trade Study Group. She acts as consultant for the yearly report of the Italian National Trade Committee. Her research work is mainly in the field of international trade and economic integration of countries. In this field she published a number of papers in national and international journals and she participated in national and international research projects.
Co-sponsors: CES, Ford School of Public Policy, IPC, WCED.
Part of the "The European Economic Crisis and its Political Dimensions."