Li and La Dolce Vita

Li and La Dolce Vita

New Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti will be cheered to hear that he has an influential supporter in China (although the new government in Athens may not be quite as enthused).

According to the Beijing Daily, Li Daokui recently went into bat for the Italians at a major conference held in the Chinese capital. “Italy is not Greece,” announced Li, who is a member of the powerful monetary policy committee of China’s central bank. And it was plain wrong to put Italy in the same basket as its neighbour across the Mediterranean, Li went on. Greece has “no other industries except ships, tourism and olive oil”.

By contrast, Italy was a strong economy: “Fiat merged and acquired Chrysler in 2009 and is in possession of Ferrari; the Italian silk industry is still stronger than Zhejiang’s, and Italy also has a reasonably good petroleum industry.”

But it wasn’t all praise for the land of pizza and pasta. Li diagnosed Italy’s problem in simple terms: the Italian people don’t have any faith in their government and are not willing to pay taxes. Over to you, Mario…

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