Italy: Quite a Comeback

With the foreign-tourist season nearing an end, Italians themselves were vacationing. On a single August weekend, more than 1,000,000 Romans had deserted the Eternal City, Milan had been depopulated by 700,000, and Turin by 350,000. And as they lolled on beaches or hiked up mountain slopes, the Italians could happily contemplate a national economy that ranks among Europe's strongest. It features prosperity without inflation.

This represents quite a comeback. Just over two years ago, Italy seemed to stand on the brink of disaster. Even though industrial productivity was growing, the cost of...

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