Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Sunday, October 25, 2009

High Oil Prices Could Kill Off Italy?

I won't be strict about what I'll post on this blog. From time to time, I'll be posting interesting articles from the blog world or elsewhere regarding Italy.

Here's one from The Oil Drum wondering if Italy can exist with oil above $100 a barrel. There are many intelligent thoughts on the comment section as well. It sounds like the UK and Italy are battling for the title of "basket case" economies.

While Italy's political culture is unresponsive for the most part, its business culture (though its economy remains too tolerant of strikes and protectionism) tends to be highly flexible when faced with crucial moments. Is it capable of coming up with efficient car engines, solar panels and other technologies to help deal with high oil prices? As one person suggested, the good news is that Italy does get much if its gas from North Africa so not all is bleak as some paint it.

Nonetheless, it didn't stop one Italian private wine dealer living in Paris telling me in 2004 with a somber disapproving nod that things in Italy are bound to "explode."

Italy has been on the brink many times in the 20th century and always managed to progress. To understand this of course is to understand how the Italian mind works. Like its soccer team, it only seems to perform when the pressure is on.

This is why it leaves people to ask if its nine lives up from time to time.

Updated April, 2009:

Then again maybe not. According to The Economist "Pocket World In Figures" Italy was the most efficient user of energy as a percentage of GDP per kg in Europe and 11th best in the world in 1999. In this link, it remains efficient. I'm a little out of my league here so I hope someone could shed some light on how to make sense of all this.

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