Benvenuto The E-Grannies
Most countries give some sort of beneficial treatment to investments in technology, particularly start-ups, and this week’s particular case is Italy, which will favor young entrepreneurs for the next few years. I do like the fact that there is positive discrimination in favor of women entrepreneurs of any age, while for men only the young ones are rewarded. Given how many Italian men are living at home with their parents, and not just young ones, I predict a rash of granny start-ups: so when in three years’ time you see a statistic showing that Italy has the most innovative oldsters in the world, you’ll know why. “Cherchez l’impot” is just as true as “Cherchez la femme.” More generally, it’s stretching a point to give Italy a prize this week; the Government is bouncing from one crisis to another, and it has no coherent policy for dealing with the country’s woes, which include disastrously high unemployment, particularly among the young, and a debt level at the outer edge of sustainability which can only get worse in the forseeable future. The feeble performance of Europe’s leaders this week over the formation of a banking resolution mechanism (like they have completely failed to construct a credible regime) reduces the chances of a successful Italian bail-out to nil. Given that Angela Merkel is clearly determined not to pay to save the south, and that getting decisive behaviour out of the German coalition will be impossible for the next few years in any case, even if the lady was willing, it seems to me that this is the time for Italy to cut loose. But it won’t; so the show will continue towards some sort of European Gotterdamerung, and I don’t mean at Bayreuth.