The Future of Italy? Traffic lights….

Italy is facing elections in March. Despite a capable if discrete government today, most everyone is speculating on the musical chairs likely to happen after Italians have voted on 4 March. Italy is suffering, there’s no doubt about it. Graduate unemployment and austerity measures make these discomforting times for those who remember the good years and forget the profligate state loans that now impede real growth. Yet tourism is on the increase, and today, in Naples, I saw the ultimate in flexible thinking, much needed to avoid grid-lock. Almost all the traffic lights have been switched off. The result: no queues, fast-moving traffic and a strange silence, that is no honking of horns. Only the lights for pedestrian crossings are on, a small concession. It’s extraordinary, simple and straightforward. In a country blocked by myriad regulations, perhaps Naples has found a metaphor for the coming election and Italy’s future, less is more....

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