Sicily’s Crisis

July 26, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

“With its prosperous north and underdeveloped south, Italy is a microcosm of the euro zone itself” writes Rachel Donadio. In an article that looked at Sicily’s problems she highlighted:

  • Sicily – an autonomous region within Italy – has a regional government that employs 1,800 people. This is more than Great Britain’s Cabinet Office.
  • In total the state directly or indirectly employs 100,000 of Sicily’s five million people.
  • These employees draw generous pensions. One man sued and won a case to keep his half a million dollar annual pension.
  • Almost 20% of Sicilians are unemployed, and around double that percentage of young people don’t have jobs.
  • In addition to these issues Sicily is also dealing with a political movement that calls for Sicily’s independence from the rest of Italy.
  • As the private banking sector exits the country, organized crime has seen a boost.

To read more including Sicily’s underlying political dynamic, how it is a bell-weather state, why it gets to keep almost all of its tax revenue, the emergency assistance promised by the central government, what Sicilians have to say about the problem, and the looming shadow of former prime-minister Silvio Berlusconi, click here.

Source: The New York Times

Via: Marginal Revolution