Italy, where is your growth gone?
“Indeed, the euro area cannot prosper if its third largest economy has a potential growth rate of zero. Italy has to grow, and this will not happen by waiting for the cycle to turn. The challenges for Italy are long-term and the solution is structural. We need only look at the trends to see this: its real growth rate was 5% in the 1950s, 4% in the 1960s, 3% in the 1970s, 2% in the 1980s, 1% in the 1990s, and 0% in the 2000s. Italy is too big to be rescued from the outside, it has to make the turnaround on its own. Its fate will critically determine the fate of the euro area.”
Jörg Asmussen, former Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, in his speech “Cooperation and diversity: principles for a stable euro area” on the occasion of the award ceremony “Alumnus of the Year”, Bocconi, Milan, 25 October 2013