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EU Demands More Blood from Italy

Jan. 19, 2017 (EIRNS)—In the middle of the new emergency created by the earthquake and the weather conditions in central and southern Italy, the European Union has rejected Italy’s budget proposal and demanded additional cuts of €3.4 billion because of an excessive deficit of 0.2% of Gross Domestic Product!

The EU request is feeding the already overwhelming anti-EU sentiment in Italy. Exemplary is the Jan. 18 editorial by Antonio Cangini, editor of La Nazione/Il Resto del Carlino, a national daily especially read in central Italy. Cangini says that the post-Glass-Steagall era is over, but the EU has failed to recognize it and should be buried.

"With British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech yesterday, on the modalities of the U.K. exit from the EU, and with the inauguration of President Donald Trump at the White House next Friday, a global historic phase is being closed,"

Cangini wrote;

"A chaotic as well as dramatic phase which has brought us two poisoned fruits: the economic crisis and the European crisis. For the former, we must thank the United States. In order to avoid a repetition of the 1929 crisis, President Roosevelt had the sacrosanct Glass-Steagall Act approved in 1933, separating investment banks from commercial banks. Bill Clinton repealed it in 1999, opening the way to globalization and, less than a decade later, to the implosion of the U.S. financial system, full of toxic and non-performing assets....

"To save the banks, the attention was shifted to the sovereign debt of states, beginning the suffering of southern and Catholic European countries. No systemic correction has been implemented since, just palliative measures such as the Dodd-Frank bill in 2010. Whatever judgment one can have on Trump’s victory, this represents a shift, a radical correction of route. No shift instead is on the horizon in old Europe, where the route is still the same one: small steps towards the abyss. Greece, Brexit, the fear of so-called rising ’populisms’ were not enough. Germany keeps playing the music, imposing rigor in government accounts and compliance with treaties on others, while itself violating those treaties."

Cangini believes that the Italian government should raise its voice against the German government, but Prime Minister Gentiloni is too weak to do that.

"Romano Prodi says that ’Europe is dead’ and not even a saint could believe in its resurrection. The corpse is beginning to stink, and holding its funeral might be the only way to start life again. There is only one problem: there is no gravedigger around to do it."

This editorial was run on the front page, beside an interview with former EU Commissioner Romano Prodi who complained that "his" Europe "is dead." Prodi is, of course, unhappy about it.