"Further south, the basket-case which is Italy’s economy increasingly resembles the circus which is its politics. Remember, Italy actually fell into recession at the end of 2018 and there are plenty of indications that it is headed back down that path. Indeed, Italy’s growth in per capita income over the past twenty years has been close to zero.
Another complication is that Italy’s debt to GDP ratio is now a historic high of 130 percent. That is certainly going to be a drag on growth in the long-term, especially as Italy’s political class shows no willingness to deal with the problem. More than one commentator is suggesting that Italy could end up defaulting—something that we expect of truly dysfunctional and corrupt economies like Argentina’s but not a major European Union economy."