The Italian Crisis


My wife was out at the market today – which is held every Wednesday morning in Levanto, if you are interested – and bumped into some friendly real estate agents that we know.

Having not seen them in a while, they chit-chatted about this and that, commenting on the never-ending rain and cold that seem to be keeping summer away permanently, and then they got started in on the most popular topic in Italy for over a year now: The Italian Crisis.

The Crisis has become the bogeyman of Italian life, this menacing figure that is just around the corner waiting to rob you of you job, your pension, your house.  This is not to make light of the economic crisis in Italy at the moment: it is dreadful, and the hardest part about it is the social impact of so many losing their jobs, not being able to find others, being forced to work 5 years longer than they had been promised, and the like.  But at the same time, to a certain degree The Italian Crisis has become even larger in the Italian mindset than it is in its everyday effects on most people.

So the real estate agents commiserated about the declining sales and prices in their market, about stubborn owners not willing to lower their prices and a dearth of buyers.

Erica wanted to know about the big blue Liberty-style villa right downtown that they had been selling.  We noticed that the For Sale sign had been taken down.  But it has not been sold, a real estate victim of The Crisis.

“We’ve even lowered the price by one million euros, but still no one is buying!”

Like I said, The Crisis is on everyone’s lips, but clearly there are some people who aren’t too badly touched by it.

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