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Europe, Italy

Why the Euro is failing – in one simple figure

In the 10 years since the new currency replaced the Lira, Italians have lost 39.7% of their purchasing power.

This equates to 10,850 euros for a family of four over the period since January 2002, according to Codacons, a consumer rights body, reports Ansa news agency.

This is probably the largest fall in living standards since the Second World War.

An ice cream has gone up by 160%+ ; a packet of coffee is up by 137% ; and the cost of a sandwich almost quadrupled, it found.

And the misery doesn’t end. From January gas, electricity and transport prices will be shooting up again, plus there’s a mountain of new and increased taxes courtesey of EU Commissioner turned unelected pm Mario Monti.

Not to mention the effects of cuts to welfare and essential public services in budgets – passed by Monti this month and his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi, over the summer –  designed to halt a meltdown of the Single Currency area.

If anyone is looking for an explanation for the Euro crisis  and its chances of overcoming it, the record of creating such misery among the citizens of its third largest member is a good one.

Ansa

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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