Country Case Studies and Links


by Jamie Wingert



Traditionally Italy has had a two-tiered economy because of the relative poverty in the South and the wealth in the North. Italy was not unified until the latter part of the 19th century. In the past, the state had been concerned only about providing care for those with inadequate means. As the system expanded, it came under great financial pressure. Moreover, widespread cases of corruption and fraud contributed to a public debate and several proposals for a new welfare regime. Subsequent reforms were hampered, however, by economic changes intended to keep inflation down. It was during that time in the early 1990s that the political landscape in Italy changed.

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