The international financial daily, The Wall Street Journal, has recently cast a critical eye on the Italian economy, identifying taxis, beach operators, and gender discrimination as major obstacles to the country’s growth. The December 26th report highlights the challenges Italy faces in stimulating competition, innovation, and productivity.
Wall Street Journal, Long Taxi Lines: A Symbol of Stagnation
The narrative begins at the train stations in Milan, highlighting long taxi lines as a symbol of economic stagnation. The Wall Street Journal emphasizes how Italian taxi drivers have limited licenses and hindered ride-sharing companies like Uber, creating an uncompetitive environment and hindering growth.
Italian Economy: Still Below 2007 Levels
The financial newspaper attributes Italian stagnation to the power of interest groups hindering efforts to stimulate competition. The World Bank reports that the Italian economy is still below pre-crisis levels of 2007, while other Western nations have made significant progress.
Wall Street Journal: Gender Gap and Lack of Meritocracy
Wall Street Journal also highlights the alarming gender gap in Italy, with only 55% of working-age women employed, the lowest in the European Union. The lack of childcare services and cultural norms contribute to this disparity. The lack of meritocracy in the public and private sectors is cited as an additional hurdle.
Youth and Lack of Progress
The report criticizes the system that rewards seniority over individual skills, with 21% of Italians aged 15 to 34 without work, study, or training. The lack of successful start-ups, low attraction of venture capital, and lower performance of Italian students are further indicators of stagnation.
Wall Street Journal: Beach Operators as a Symbol of Lack of Competition
The newspaper also analyzes the beach sector, highlighting the absence of public tendering and insignificant revenues for concessions. This demonstrates that the country’s problems are linked to outdated laws rather than an intrinsic lack of entrepreneurial talent.
Bologna Cabbie and Resistance to Change
The report concludes with the story of a Bologna taxi driver, Roberto RedSox, who became a social media hero for challenging resistance to change in the taxi sector. The journal emphasizes how taxi drivers’ resistance is losing national sympathy.
In conclusion, the journal sheds light on the structural problems afflicting the Italian economy, prompting critical reflection on overcoming obstacles to foster the country’s growth and modernization.