[QODLink]
Counting the Cost
Debt, default and downgrade
Who is to blame for Italy's debt crisis - and how will it affect the global economy?
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2011 09:21

Just when you thought Europe's debt problems had gone quiet, Rome steps into the firing line, but is it Italian politics to blame?

Perhaps the situation is not as acute as it was in the US with its potential debt default, but there is a lot of investor discontent with Italy, from those who think it is headed the same way as Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

In fact, the lack of political leadership in Rome, Brussels and Washington has wiped trillions of dollars off the value of global stock markets.

Italy is the Eurozone's third biggest economy, but has the region's second biggest debt, at around 120 per cent of its GDP. Greece, as a comparison, has about 160 per cent.

Italian debt stand at $2.6 trillion, which is more than the total borrowing of Spain, Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

And the country is not exactly expanding. The IMF forecasts just one per cent growth this year, down from 1.3 per cent in 2010. Many experts are expecting a default.

So who is to blame? What can be done? And what does it mean for the European debt crisis?

Also on Counting the Cost: Botswana is Africa's most prosperous and arguably most peaceful country, largely because of the discovery of the world's richest diamond deposits some 40 years ago.

But now the mines are past their peak, and Botswana needs to restructure its economy, or risk the consequences. What is Botswana going to do now the mines are emptying out?

And past the fake Apple stores and copied designs - can China find some real, home-grown innovation? 

Beijing is trying to change the negative perceptions of Chinese production with the help of investment funds that support indigenous innovation through technolgy incubators.

  

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.

Click here for more on Counting the Cost.


Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list