Italy juggles Olympic dreams with economic reality

World Today

Despite Italy’s debts contributing to a crisis that threatened to crash Europe’s economy a few years ago, resistance to change remains strong. 

Rome’s coliseum is an emblem of Italy’s glorious past. If the country wins its bid for the 2024 Olympics, it’ll play its part in new glories — provided the economy doesn’t sink further into debt.

“Our prime minister shouldn’t allow people to hire on short-term contracts, indefinitely. Some people do more than eight short-term contracts one after the other,” a female security agent on strike said. “Also, people shouldn’t be paid three euros an hour. That’s what I earn.”

Italy is the third biggest economy in the eurozone and it’s struggling. Government debt is forecast to hit 133 percent of GDP in 2015 — more than double the level the EU allows. That could lead to fines worth billions of dollars.

As Italy weighed the potential benefit from spending billions to bring Olympic prestige to the capital, many may wonder if it’s a bill that Italian taxpayers and the economy could do without.

CCTV America interviewed Vidak Radonjic, founder and CEO of The Beryl Consulting Group LLC, for more.

Vidak Radonjic of the Beryl Counsulting Group discusses Italy's economy

Despite Italy's debts contributing to a crisis that threatened to crash Europe's economy a few years ago, resistance to change remains strong. CCTV America’s Owen Fairclough reported from Washington.