Italy was pilloried for its crony capitalism back in the boom, but now - despite having failed to report a budget surplus for over a quarter of a century - it is sitting relatively comfortably amid the government finance carnage in Euroland. Rome in late Spring showed little sign of the recession. For sure, Fiumicino airport seemed relatively quiet, and Alitalia’s evening commuter flight home to London had empty seats, while the tourist hordes thronging the Pantheon were a little thinner than on previous visits. But pavement cafes in the Piazza Navona were bustling, as they dispensed sleep-repelling double espresso. And reservations were still needed at quality restaurants. Talk to local professionals and bankers, and there is little sense of financial crisis... [CONTINUED]
In today's bulletin:
We will make BP pay, says Obama (but what about everyone else?)
No cause for cheer as unemployment hits 2.47m
Sainsbury positive despite slowest sales growth in five years
A Traveller’s Tale: Recessionary Rome is remarkably robust
Is Tesco right to promote from within?