Italy’s Pro-EU President Flouts Voters, by Soeren Kern

Political and financial chaos reign in Italy. From Soeren Kern at thegatestoneinstitute.org:

  • The political situation reflects the stranglehold on power wielded by the pro-EU establishment, which is evidently determined to preserve economic austerity at the expense of democracy.
  • “We need to prepare a plan B to get out of the euro if necessary… the other alternative is to end up like Greece.” — Paolo Savona, a former industry minister who has called Italy’s entry into the euro a “historic mistake.”
  • “In Italy, there is a problem of democracy. In this country, you can be a convicted criminal, convicted for tax fraud, under investigation for corruption and be a minister… but if you criticize Europe, you cannot be the Minister of the Economy in Italy.” — M5S leader Luigi Di Maio.

Italy’s new populist government-in-waiting resigned on May 28 after its choice of a eurosceptic finance minister was rejected by the country’s pro-EU president — who instead asked an unelected technocrat to form a pro-EU government.

The political wrangling ends a bid by Italy’s two anti-establishment parties — the left-leaning Five Star Movement (M5S) and the center-right League (Lega) — to form a populist coalition government, which would have been the first of its kind in Europe.

The political situation reflects the stranglehold on power wielded by the pro-EU establishment, which is evidently determined to preserve economic austerity at the expense of democracy.

Italian president Sergio Mattarella refused to accept the nomination for finance minister of Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old former industry minister who has called Italy’s entry into the euro a “historic mistake.”

In his latest book, “Like a Nightmare and a Dream” (Come un incubo e come un sogno), Savona called the euro a “German cage” and warned that “we need to prepare a plan B to get out of the euro if necessary… the other alternative is to end up like Greece.”

Mattarella, who was installed by a previous pro-EU government, said that the “uncertainty over our position in the euro has alarmed Italian and foreign investors who purchased our government bonds and invested in our companies.” He added that “membership of the euro is a fundamental choice for the future of our country and our young people.”

To continue reading: Italy’s Pro-EU President Flouts Voters

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