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message 1: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11755 comments We now have the remarkable situation where, following an election, two parties form a coalition with a firm majority, but the unelected President, possibly on orders from Brussels, refuses to accept their Finance Minister and instead appoints a Brussels approved bureaucrat, who is apparently;y known as "Mr Scissors" for his propensity for painful cuts in public spending. However, now the parties have decided they are not going to put up with this, and have called fresh elections, and Matteo Salvini, one of the leaders, has said something like "The election will not be political but instead a true referendum between who wants Italy to be a free country and who wants it to be servile and enslaved."

Where to, Italy, the EU and the Euro?


message 2: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin So, Italy continues with its long and fine tradition of political chaos and ineffectiveness. What's new?


message 3: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Italexit. 3..... 2..... 1....


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11755 comments Actually, Michel, once I was in Rome and talking to a leading businessman (which was why I was there) and I mentioned that their government had collapsed - was he concerned. The answer was something like "Hell no. Italy works far better when there is no government." Which I assume meant, he could get on and do whatever, free from politician's interference.


message 5: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin That actually sounds like a planner's worst nightmare! How do they hope of having a viable long term economy if everybody does what they want in search of the biggest short term individual profit possible? This can only end in anarchy.


message 6: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Or a free market. :-).


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11755 comments At the tine, my view of drivers in Rome was that they really wanted anarchy


message 8: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3078 comments Fro Uk perspective we have business leaders and 90% of political elite inc civil servant completely wedded to EU hence constant issues with Brexit. In Italy you have the same elite including big businesses completely wedded to EU although it is a net contributor according to the EU

Total EU spending in Italy: € 11.592 billion
Total EU spending as % of Italian gross national income (GNI): 0.69 %
Total Italian contribution to the EU budget: € 13.940 billion
Italian contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 0.83 %

The problem for Italy (same as Greece, Portugal, Ireland etc.) is debt and lack of economic growth. Tax intake is low per head of population (Greece huge indicator) but growth of approx 0.5% for last 10 years is big issue.

As I've said the Eurozone is run for the benefit of German banks and no one else therefore for the poorer EU countries' the exchange rate is too high but for German industry and banks it's fantastic. The Eurozone countries 19 of the remaining 27 don't have the ability to flex interest rates or exchange rate to suit local economic circumstance. Meanwhile the European Parliament is little more than a rubber stamp to the wishes of the Commission and secretariat who run the EU.


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11755 comments In my opinion, the problem with the Euro is it is a common currency, but there is no common economic policy. As Philip notes, it therefore favours the strongest economy (Germany) and the expense of the weakest (Greece?) and other countries will fit in a sliding scale. If Germany really wants an EU, then it is going to have to do a bit more to help the weaker members.

Italy probably has a deep problem thanks to Berlusconi, but the question of exiting, etc, will depend on how badly off the masses feel, as opposed to the political elite and bureaucrats. I somehow doubt the EU can survive Brexit and Italexit, and it really should make some effort to change its ways, but I bet that doesn't happen.


message 10: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Ian wrote: "At the tine, my view of drivers in Rome was that they really wanted anarchy"

And achieved it. :-).


message 11: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3078 comments Ian wrote: "In my opinion, the problem with the Euro is it is a common currency, but there is no common economic policy. As Philip notes, it therefore favours the strongest economy (Germany) and the expense of..."

This was the failure of the EU leadership. When Cameron as UK PM tried to negotiate some changes -
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...

- he got nothing substantial and the electorate saw that - this alone probably cost the remain campaign enough votes to stay in EU. Now the EU is behaving in the same way to Italy's electorate although I note the two parties appear to be forming a government this morning.

If the EU does not change then I think Italy may follow UK or at least threaten Euro withdrawal. Greece will be right behind. EU bullied Greece where new loans were sent that went straight to pay of German banks. Even in Germany anti-EU sentiment is rising and Merkel is not as powerful s she once was.


message 12: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I think Brexit, opened the Dam, and if Italy goes to leave, it's fundamentally over for the EU.

The EU in its current form will fall, as to what replaces it. I have no idea.


message 13: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11755 comments From what I gather, there are problems with Hungary too. Hungary is refusing the EU directives to take so many refugees, and has wire across its borders. It will be interesting to see how this pans out, and whether Trump has accidentally unified the EU.


message 14: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3078 comments Meanwhile the EU is negotiating with Serbia to join.


message 15: by Nik (last edited Jun 01, 2018 12:40PM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 16023 comments Travelling through 12 European countries last summer, it seemed to me that Germany and maybe Poland remained somehow competitive on a global scale, while many others, incl. France, Italy, Spain were not...
As always in politics, to de-sit someone, you need to 'sell' a change, so on European arena 'exits' might be a big thing for years to come, whether real or declared.
On a grandeur scale we do pass through 'unity' and 'separation' periods, which gonna forge into something new in the future...


message 16: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Ian wrote: "From what I gather, there are problems with Hungary too. Hungary is refusing the EU directives to take so many refugees, and has wire across its borders. It will be interesting to see how this pans..."

I doubt very much that Trump could influence the EU into Unity of Purpose.


message 17: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Philip wrote: "Meanwhile the EU is negotiating with Serbia to join."

Who wins from that happening?


message 18: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Mixed messages from the incoming Italian government. REF: Cyprus Mail: https://cyprus-mail.com/2018/06/01/eu...


message 19: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11755 comments That the Italians can't seem to commit to a specific policy does not come as a particular shock. Nevertheless, the Euro is not doing them any good, largely because of Germany's large surpluses


message 20: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 3078 comments Graeme wrote: "Philip wrote: "Meanwhile the EU is negotiating with Serbia to join."

Who wins from that happening?"


For Serbia the local elite who judging from similar accession countries get their snouts into the trough of EU spending. All those new roads and airports. Funding for infrastructure flags and roads signs. Then there are the EU elite who continue with a federal super state agenda - ever closer union is the term. For some of these the UK was seen as a blocker to this path - not being part of the Euro etc, but they are now struggling to understand how the EU budget will work without one of its biggest contributors. Italy despite its debts is also a net contributor


message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11755 comments I see Italy has a government after all, and the new far right Minister Salvini is about to kick out the illegal immigrants, or at least try. Exactly where they will go is still unclear, and what happens if that country refuses to take them is unclear. This is a further consequence of a rather confused policy from the EU.


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