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Eco storm clouds loom as Italy embarks on 1,000-day reform trip

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, seen before a meeting at the Chigi palace in Rome, on July 29, 2014Matteo Renzi’s Twitter hashtag summed it up: #ciaovacanze (#byebyeholidays). The summer’s over and Italy’s baby-faced prime minister has got work to do, lots of it, as he seeks to deliver on his promise to transform a country teetering on the brink of its third recession in seven years. Economic growth has just turned negative for the third time since the financial crisis erupted and sent Italy into a particularly vicious tailspin. The pressure on public finances resulting from Italy’s stagnation has hammered investment levels and it is beginning to show in the form of crumbling infrastructure.

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