NAPLES, ITALY - 20 JULY 2019: A man waters plants on a terrace overlooking the volcano mount Vesuvius in Montesanto, a working class neighborhood in Naples, Italy, on July 20th 2019.
In Italy, the unemployment rate sits near 10 percent — lower than a year ago, but roughly the same level as in 2012, in the aftermath of a brutal crisis. But many in Naples say the crisis never ended.
Italian companies are deferring expansions and limiting investment rather than risking cash in a time of uncertainty. The public debt remains monumental, running at more than 2 trillion euro ($2.24 trillion), or more than 130 percent of annual economic output. Banks are still stuffed with bad loans — albeit fewer than before — making them reluctant to lend. An economy that has not expanded over the past decade is this year widely expected to again produce no growth.