I never did sociology at university but I remember a good friend of mine who did Soc I telling me that the suicide rate is a measure of a society's health. I read with interest Richard North's blog today in which he reports that suicides caused by financial pressure are increasing in Italy and Ireland amongst pensioners and entrepreneurs. Indeed the Irish suicide rate is the highest ever recorded.
The Eurozone is clearly a very sick society. Richard also reports that an ad hoc committee set up to try and cut Italian MP salaries, the highest in Europe, gave up a hopeless fight. Its a bit like trying to clean up EUKIP, a job for Hercules.
Portugal will soon need another bail out and the effect of Draghi's money printing at the ECB has worn off as evinced by Spanish and Italian bond yields jumping after the poor market reception of the latest Spanish bond auction. The FT reports the Euro has fallen through its floor against the Swiss Franc and is now trading at 1.21 to the pound Sterling so if you are thinking of buying your Euroland retreat now is the time.
Merkel's gauleiter in Italy Monti is running into problems over his proposals to make it easier for firms to sack workers. I guess the EU will discover that democracy is a dreadful system of government until you try the other ways of running a country.
The Dr Frau has turned her tax panzers on the peace loving Swiss and according to Jeff Randall yestreen will get 100 bn Euro back from tax avoidance schemes by Germans using Swiss banks. Come on wee George. Get your tax tanks rolling or at least threaten to sink the Swiss Navy.
For those who are not yet depressed and suicidal I recommend listening to Any Questions on BBC 4 at 8:00 pm tonight. I expect the EUKIP suicide rate to rise after this broadcast.