According to the Wall Street Journal, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Taro Aso told the Japanese Parliament that Italians are used to spend too much.
‘According to Italian culture, it is a good thing to have no money when you die,’ explained Mr. Aso. When his dissertation on Italian culture was greeted with an outburst of laugh, he tried to defend his position.
Mr. Aso should not insist anyway, because he is grossly wrong. The Italian families have traditionally been very strong savers. Many observers concur that only thanks to family saving Italy was spared a Greek-style crisis. According to a 2010 report by the Bank of Italy, Italian families own nearly 6 percent of world wealth, while the Italian GDP is just 3 percent of world one.