Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rome - 1st stop on "austerity tour"

ROME - I shot this photo of the famous coliseum as we drove through the streets this morning after a nearly 10 hour flight from Atlanta. Last time I was here was in 1980.

First thing I discovered is that my adapters are two-pronged and my computer cord is 3-prong, so I am running on battery power which is LOW.  Tomorrow we switch to a ship and I should have an adapter by then. European hotel rooms are often SMALL. The one on the ship may be bigger than this one which feels like a 10 x 10 box, but the internet is FREE and the people are NICE. It took an hour to get from the airport to the hotel - due to traffic which is like Houston/Dallas.

Here is the status of the economy per Lex Mundi: "During the second half of 2011 the government passed a series of three austerity packages to balance its budget and decrease its public debt. These measures included a hike in the value-added tax, pension reforms, and cuts to public administration. The government also faces pressure from investors and European partners to sustain its recent efforts to address Italy's long-standing structural impediments to growth, such as an inflexible labor market and widespread tax evasion. In 2012 economic growth and labor market conditions deteriorated, with growth at -2.3% and unemployment rising to nearly 11%."

So you can see the austerity here has resulted in an unemployment rate of 11% versus our  7.2% making it 50% higher than the USA which has taken a different path -- until Congress started sequester, which has killed jobs in America.

My battery is almost out of juice. More tomorrow....

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