Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Left-Wing European Plot to Oust Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi Is Confirmed

           Former United States Secretary of the Treasury claims in his memoir that European Union leaders asked the U.S. to pressure then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy to resign at the height of the European debt crisis in 2011 by opposing an International Monetary Fund loan to the Italian Republic.  The story confirms the contentions of Berlusconi and his supporters of a left-wing plot against him.  

Unlike the Europeans, the Obama Administration opted not to interfere with Italy’s internal politics. 

            Berlusconi’s center-right Government implemented every fiscal reform the E.U. and European Monetary Union demanded, which would be met each time by praise from the E.U.  Then, within weeks, the EU would panic and demand more reforms.  Meanwhile, Italy was under financial attack by speculators, despite its strengths.  The Europeans, had they not been biased against Berlusconi and Italy, should have continued to have expressed confidence in the Italian Government instead of focusing on undermining it.

            The concern amongst Europeans and the world about Italy and its large public debt, which was among the largest in the world, was legitimate, as Italy, as the third largest economy in the European Union, was the firewall for the European Monetary Union (the zone of the single currency of the Euro), but some of these European leaders overstepped their bounds to try to oust a responsible government and even to try solicit the U.S. to participate in the conspiracy.  It was the political fragility of Italy’s fractious Government coalition that caused anxiety in the markets, and the same concerns about the Italian populace’s willingness to accept austerity as elsewhere in Europe, not a lack of fiscal reform or lack of political willingness to reduce debt.  Indeed, succeeding Prime Ministers Mario Monti, Enrico Letta and Matteo Renzi all built on the foundation of Berlusconi’s fiscal reforms.  Italy’s deficit is now less than the European Union-target of 3% of Gross Domestic Product.  The confidence of investors is reflected in the spread between the price of German and Italian bonds, which has narrowed to well below 200, the lowest since before the debt crisis.

           It is important to note that the Monetary Union exacerbated Italy’s problems, which were made more difficult to resolve because of the loss of sovereignty from giving up the national currency and subordinating the State to the European super-state.  

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