Therefore, Italy has no room for cutting taxes to spur economic growth. The old age pensions gobble up almost 16 per cent of the country's GDP. You cannot cut pensions, this is all but politically infeasible. Ouch.
Don't ask me about Italy's future.
UPDATE: Italians flock abroad in record numbers
A total of 82,095 Italians emigrated last year - a 20.7 percent increase on 2012 - new figures from statistics agency Istat show.
The biggest number flocked to the UK, where 13,000 Italians set up home last year. The second most popular country was Germany, with 11,000, followed by neighbouring Switzerland (10,000).
France was less popular, being the country of choice for 8,000 Italians last year. The US, which has historically welcomed waves of Italian immigrants, saw just 5,000 arrive in 2013.
Thirty percent of over-25 year olds emigrating last year had degrees, with the most well-educated Italians moving to the UK and the US.
For Diego Pelle, a bar manager from Rome, moving to London this year was a chance to escape the worsening business climate.
“In Italy the situation for improving your business is really bad; the government wants to kill small- and medium-sized companies,” he told The Local.
Family-run businesses in Italy are often hit with burdensome bureaucracy and high taxes, and face a long wait for government reforms to have a positive impact on earnings.