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News : EU Economy Last Updated: Nov 14, 2011 - 7:06 AM


Italy spends nearly third of annual budget on pensions; Less than 37% of the 55-64 age cohort gainfully employed
By Finfacts Team
Nov 11, 2011 - 3:56 PM

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Giorgio Napolitano, president of Italy, in the Palazzo del Quirinale, Friday, 11/11/2011

Italy spends almost a third of its annual budget on pensions and as a ratio of gross domestic product (GDP), the spending is the highest in the world. Not even 37% of the 55-64 age cohort are gainfully employed.

If Ireland extended the same pension benefits that are available to its politicians and the rest of the public service, to the rest of the citizenry, the costs would be similar to Italy's.

Ireland's annual pension costs of €7.5bn amount to over 15% of total annual revenues and 5% of GDP.

We reported last month that in the course of the past ten years, Italy’s gross domestic product has increased by less than 3%; that of France, with about the same population, by 12%. The gap perfectly reflects the difference in hourly productivity  - -  stationary in Italy, up by 9% in France. Italy’s disappointing result applies to the country as a whole, North and South alike.

In The New York Times earlier this month, Steven Rattner, the former head of the Obama Administration auto industry taskforce, said that in 2009, each worker at Fiat’s Italian factories assembled an average of 30 cars per year, compared with nearly 100 per year in Poland, while being paid more than three times Polish wages.

Historically, from 1981 until 2011, Italy's average quarterly GDP growth was 0.35% reaching an historical high of 2.20% in December of 1983 and a record low of -3.00% in March of 2009.

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