Italy's Version Of Austerity: 3 Months Of Vacation

Tyler Durden's picture

The French were willing to 'slash' retirement ages by a few days as the Greeks tied property tax payments to electricity supply in an effort to raise revenues but it seems the much-talked about austerity that is such a great hardship for Europe's non-German/Fins/Dutch is missing in action. Today we hear of the progress in Italy as la Republica explains the incredible provocation of the under-secretary of the economy Gianfranco Polillo that: "We are in a country where you work an average of nine months each year, and I think that now we must think that these nine months of work are too short," suggesting - shock, horror - that "if we gave up one week of vacation, we would have an immediate impact on GDP of around 1%". First of all - adding 1% from an additional week seems a 'stretch' but nevertheless as Wirtschaftsfacts notes that these comments only "reinforce the prejudices in the northern countries of the euro zone, that many employees are in the southerners lazy and workshy." So the next time we hear Monto proclaiming the need for Zee Germans to step up or the ECB to monetize, it is clear now what exactly he is protecting - his all-year tan!

Polillo explains his country's hardship:

"We are living beyond our means because we have a current account deficit of balance of payments which is about 3 points of GDP, a fact often overlooked. This means that we each year to support our domestic consumption we need loans abroad in recent years amounted to 50 billion euros. So if we do not close this gap we can not continue to use foreign borrowing to support consumption. " "This gap - he added - and we can fill in two ways: by reducing domestic demand and would be unacceptable if we want to destroy the country or by increasing the productive potential of the country."

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zilverreiger's picture


go work yourself if you like it so much, stop forcing your stupid work ethic on us

LULZBank's picture

In the North, the weather is shit, food is crap, women are cold, they have no friends... so obviously working "hard" is the only escape they can have.

Saves the fuel bill at home too.

Jackdaw lost its tail and started advocating its a quality.

zilverreiger's picture

I'm from the north, and I do believe you have to pay for your free time yourself, But the idiots are working much too hard in the US and UK and Germany , and they only buy fucking junk with it, spend it on free time you slaves.

Manthong's picture

Just a teeny problem with that line of thinking..

As 30% of the Italian workforce “works” for the government, the longer they are at work, the more ways they find to spend and waste money.

Max Hunter's picture

It's more than that.. While I agree that our lives revolve around work and blind comsuption, you can't have the blind consumption and expect those that work to pay for it.. Well, southern Europe can't.. The US and UK can.. for now..

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

I'm afraid Finns, Germans, Austrians and the dutch are just going to have to suck it up. France Italy and Spain are beautiful countries - and is it a coincidence that the more beautiful the country the more progressive and liberal the politicians? Thats what attracts millions of tourists every year and flourishing economies - the inconvenient truth (for libertarians) is that no one wants to visit somewhere where raw capitalism has ruined the landscape, has worked the people to ill health and death. No they want to go somewhere where the people ENJOY life in a fair and just society with equality for all.

risk-reward's picture

" in a fair and just society with equality for all."  Just where might THAT be?

smiler03's picture

All you suckers below are still falling for this troll who's favourite hobbies are prostitutes and whore houses.

Here is a selection of his posts before he started to (self confessed) immitate MDB.

financial apocalyptic contagion's picture

thats the dumbest comment iv seen all this week

fair for the 1% you mean

FeralSerf's picture

". . . no one wants to visit somewhere where raw capitalism has ruined the landscape. . ."

Like Marbella for example?

The elephants in the room that nobody wants to see are the financial "services" industry (read Goldman Sachs, et al) has stolen all the cash they could and now there's none left to pay down debt, and there are no productive jobs available.  More positions in government and paper shuffling do not improve the situation, but not unlike America, those are the jobs that are being created.

If one had a lot of debt, but kept a large stash of cash available to service that debt when it came due, the debt would be manageable.  However if a thief stole all of that cash that was in reserve, there would be a solvency problem.   That is a large part of the problem in the Mediterranean south.  The thieves, having to a large extent, run out of places in the South to steal from are now moving north into Germany.  They need to get more creative to swindle those tight-fisted, well-armed Finns though.

i-dog's picture


"in a fair and just society with equality for all"

... living from debts racked up with those who are working elsewhere (not only in the North, but also in the resource and 'stuff' exporting countries).

The Mediterraneans are nothing but a bunch of beach bums living off rich uncles! (Same thing with the Americans).

mick_richfield's picture

Such love people.

Such lovely countries.

What price did the Eloi pay to the Morlocks?

ACP's picture

Suck it up? It's capitalist economies that are supporting the socialist economies, or else their countries would be in ruins. That includes the environment.

How about the socialist economies sucking it up and PAYING FOR THEIR SHIT THEMSELVES.

billsykes's picture

Lazy indeed, here is the interesting thing, the Italians have a culture of small business and they make stuff in factories, just look at all the car, bike truck companies, textiles, leather, pharma, steel factories.  (compare to a country like Canada at 33m, has nothing by way of making anything, just a suck it and pipe it economy(O&G))

For 60m people with a GDP of 36k per person, its again the government holding back the people.  Its not a cakewalk to do business, its mind numbingly frustrating- but you can hire someone to take care of those ongoing issues.

So really, a 19k hit (pretax) from a 55k NA gdp to get beautiful women, vibrant culture, incredible food and climate, that actually  make stuff and are known around the world for many things......

Where does that 19k go?  paying  interest on your shitty spec home, ya the one with the cream vinyl siding, the 4 yr old suv that gets 21mpg, your big screen tv that you got on a black Friday that you use to forget how fucked your life is. 

count me out I am still studying french.







Village Smithy's picture

There is another teeny problem and that is in assuming that there is lots of work to be done and it's just waiting for someone to give up some vacation and pick up the slack. In other words he is completely ignorant of the unemployment problem.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Jamie Dimon earns millions a year and gets to take vacation whenever he wants, so why can't average people ALSO earn millions and get more paid vacations? That's all liberals are asking. But of course libertarians always support the 1% and don't let 99%ers have anything.

FeralSerf's picture

There needs to be some producers in order to support the thefts by the Jamies of the world.  That's where the Germans come in.  Jamie and his ilk steals, the German workers and their ilk make stuff for him to steal.  It a symbiotic relationship.  All play and no work makes Franz an unsuitable victim.

taniquetil's picture

The solution is obvious. Just print $100 billion per citizen and distribute it via C-130. That was no one ever has to work again, and we'll all just wait for the weekly flyover for our millions of dollars in wages.

knightowl77's picture

That will work. At least until the Illegal Aliens get their million or billion too and then everyone stops working....We should've tried this years ago...../sarc

DaveyJones's picture

The ideal Jamie vacation would include a vast amount of water and a board of sorts 

Brindle702's picture

... and a date with your locker?

nickt1y's picture

Milliion, I hope that was sarcasm, otherwise you are displaying such a level of ignorance that it is hard to belive you ever found zerohedge.

Jack Sheet's picture

It's a program, you see....

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Dimon earns nothing - stealing is not earning. Dimon has MF Global-smuggled funds in his pocket and they are OTHER people's illegally taken property.

Marco's picture

The majority of workers don't have a choice ... without some collective enforcement labour competition keeps vacation days into a race to the bottom. The Euro and free trade simply opened up the flood gates to force everyone into the same race.

Only having wage deflation in the south will solve nothing if it isn't accompanied by wage inflation in the north. Maybe Italians should take less days vacation, but only if Germans took more.

veyron's picture

Is Maranello north or south?

cfosnock's picture

I'll take those "cold" German and Swedish women, and don't forget the beer is good

LULZBank's picture

Me too. They might be cold, but they work hard.

ATM's picture

I'll take those tall Dutch girls....... mmmmmmm.

_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Well, the Scandinavian girls are actually much hotter than the Dutch bitches (first hand experience and not just mine). It doesn't make much sense though.


DaveyJones's picture

and their skin holds up over time

Short Memories's picture

no point starting now! it's all coming down :)

not like you'll get a pension

zilverreiger's picture

exactly, governments are rapidly losing good will with their fake goals.

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Fake Goals?  How about their bullshit free lunch solutions? 

Wait.  There will always be a majority of suckers who fall for the free lunch, the fatal flaw of democracy and why true genius chooses liberty over democracy.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Don't the Germans say work will set you free?

LULZBank's picture

Northerners cant even enjoy sex without a plentyful dose of weird fetishes. That tells you a lot.

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

You're just bitter because your chick's won't go funky, leaving you up late staring at your computer while she's asleep, wishing that was you in half the photos you download.

LULZBank's picture

Nopes. If I really wanted my balls being clamped or squeezed and my anus being probed, I will just go through US airports security.

I am more equal than others's picture

It is easy to say 'so what' when someone is paying your bills.  That day will soon end.  The bill payers will say 'so what' and then war, crime, and then you die.  Its a wonderful life, aint it.


GOSPLAN HERO's picture

I want unlimited sick leave too.

I want my physician to prescribe a two week "cure" at Baden-Baden, Germany.

The water/beer cure is great.

Joe Sixpack's picture

The water/beer enema? What a waste of beer, but hope you enjoy it.