Update on Italy
Why Read: Because Italy may already be 'the next big thing' in the Eurozone economic crisis. Everyone needs to be aware of that, and one 'buries their head in the sand' on this at their own peril.
Commentary: In 2011 Italy's GDP rang in at U.S.$2.2 trillion, making it the Eurozone's third largest economy after Germany (U.S.$3.6 trillion), France (U.S.$2.8 trillion), and larger than 4th largest Spain (U.S.$1.5 trillion). In 2011 Italy's reported GDP was just over 3% of world reported GDP.
To put the Eurozone's 2011 combined 17 country GDP in perspective, at U.S.$17.6 trillion it was 16% larger than that of the United States.
Reports today say that Italy's economy contracted by 0.7% in Q2 2012, which is the third consecutive quarter of Italian recession - with no end and seemingly worsening conditions in sight.
Moreover, one news report this morning reproduced an interview with Italian President Mario Monti where - assuming the interview is reported correctly - he is quoted as saying (among many other things):
"If everything goes according to plan, I will remain in office until April 2013, and I hope that I can rescue Italy from financial ruin by then -- and this with moral support from a few European friends, led by Germany".
On the face of things, and assuming Mr. Monti meant what he apparently said and he didn't fall victim to using 'a bad choice of words', for him to say "I hope I can rescue Italy from financial ruin by then (April 2013)" can't be thought of as trite. April 2013 is only 9 months away.
If Stephen Harper, Canada's Prime Minister, made such a statement, I would be immediately be 'in the market' for the best arable, secluded farmland I could find - preferably since it is August, with this year's edible crops well on the way to maturity.
I suggest you take some time and scan the three referenced articles. The third one includes a number of brief commentaries on European economic developments beyond those of Italy.
Note: GDP source - Wikipedia
Topical Reference: Here's The Interview With The Italian Prime Minister That's Made The Rest Of Europe Livid, from Business Insider, Joe Weisenthal, August 6, 2012 - reading time 2 minutes; Italy sinks deeper into recession as Monti's problems swell, from The Globe and Mail, from Reuters, August 7, 2012 - reading time 2 minutes; and Debt crisis: As it happened - August 7, 2012, from The Telegraph, Matthew Sparkes, August 7, 2012 - reading time 1 minute.