In Italy, the finance minister has come up with a novel way of saving money - reducing the failure rate in schools.
At present, students who fail the year have to repeat it. The minister has calculated that if a blind eye is turned, 10 per cent of normally failing pupils can be made to pass the year, thereby saving (18 million (pound;12m) in 2007 through staff cuts.
The proposal is said to be causing wry amusement within the teaching profession.
So effortlessly simple, so Italian.