As Italy swelters in temperatures of up to 40C, the country’s marinas should be packed with bronzed sailors in expensive deck shoes tending to their gleaming yachts.
But Italian boat owners are feeling the heat not just from the sun this summer.
Thousands are weighing anchor and fleeing with their gin palaces to quiet corners of the Mediterranean to escape a tax evasion crackdown – part of efforts by the government of Mario Monti, the prime minister, to tackle Italy’s €1.9 trillion public debt.
Tax yachts highly and yachts will disappear:
But yacht owners have a unique advantage over shops, restaurants and other businesses: they can simply sail their assets away on the open sea.