There is a lot of uncertainty in the media about this number – sometimes Italy seems to be extremely expensive, sometimes it seems a beggars’ country. Well, among the core countries (because, yes, Italy is not the periphery), it is the cheapest. But what strikes most is the unbalances within the area: one hour of works costs little more than 8 Euros in Estonia, and little over 39 in Belgium. With other European countries being the top competitors of any European country, this means a quasi-automatic race to the bottom if competitiveness should be based only on salaries. Which it isn’t, given that there are two categories of growing Euro nations: emerging, and Germany.