Why do ex-pats, especially those from the Anglo-Saxon world, tend to be such moaners about their host country, whichever country it happens to be? The usual criticisms they make about Italy could apply, with subtle variations, to many other countries with large ex-pat communities.

The host country is perceived as corrupt, inefficient, indifferent, unsafe, dirty and inhospitable to foreigners. The home country in turn is held up as honest, efficient, safe, clean, hard working and friendly. Many a book or an article written by ex-pats about the foreign country they live in is based on this formula