It's all good news. Italy, one of the most heavily legislatised country in the world, has taken steps to liberalise and simplify several basic economic activities.

Until recently, Italians had to pass through a public notary to buy a second-hand car, which is really red-tape for red-tape's sake even by Latin standards. Petrol stations weren't allowed to open 24h, insurance brokers weren't allowed to sell policies from more than one company, and rival businesses weren't required by law to have a minimum distance between them (so that you wouldn't find two news-stands next to each others).

But now, Italy has become more liberal even than France or Belgium in a few respects. Consumers can now buy non-prescription drugs in supermarkets instead of pharmacies - something still prohibited in France and Belgium.

Which of the three countries will be the first to allow supermarkets and shopping centres to open 24h, as well as on Sunday's ?

Source : The Economist : Taking off the shackles