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This article appears in the October 11, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Five-Year Fight for
A New Bretton Woods

The Italian Parliament's unanimous vote on Sept. 25 for a resolution seeking a new global "financial architecture," in view of the "crisis of the whole financial system," was a breakthrough achieved by more than five years of organizing—in Italy, and internationally—by the LaRouche movement.

The fight began on Jan. 4, 1997, with the first major, public announcement of Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr.'s New Bretton Woods policy. LaRouche addressed a forum of the FDR-PAC in Washington, D.C. laying out a policy orientation for the second Clinton Administration, centering around two proposals: that the U.S. President convene an international conference to establish a "new Bretton Woods system," to put the world economy through bankruptcy proceedings and to reorganize it for productive development; and that the United States join in global projects of benefit to all mankind, with a special focus on the Eurasian Land-Bridge program.

The challenge was immediately taken up in Italy, where Sen. Publio Fiori, leader of the opposition party National Alliance (Alleanza Nationale, AN) and former Transport Minister, on Feb. 13, 1997, introduced a parliamentary question to the government, asking whether, in view of the ongoing disintegration of the international monetary and financial system, Italy should undertake emergency measures, such as a New Bretton Woods conference and a tax on derivatives speculation.

The following chronology traces some of the LaRouche movement's key interventions, and the steps taken by elected representatives in Italy, that brought about the historic result that now must be replicated in other countries.

Feb. 15, 1997: LaRouche delivers keynote address to a conference of the Schiller Institute and International Caucus of Labor Committees in Reston, Virginia, titled "Toward a New Bretton Woods Conference." He calls for the audience to forge the preconditions to enable President Clinton to convene, with other heads of state of leading nations, a New Bretton Woods conference to create a new, stable, global monetary system to replace the bankrupt International Monetary Fund system.

Feb. 15-17, 1997: An "Urgent Appeal to President Clinton To Convoke a New Bretton Woods Conference" is initiated by the founder of the Schiller Institute, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and Ukrainian economist Natalia Vitrenko, member of the Supreme Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine. In subsequent months, the text is circulated worldwide for endorsement by public figures.

April 10, 1997: Lyndon and Helga LaRouche are the keynote speakers at a conference organized in Rome by EIR and LaRouche's Italian co-thinkers, the Civil Rights-Solidarity Movement. LaRouche's proposal for a New Bretton Woods is supported by Senator Fiori, as well as by representatives of Italy's state-sector industries.

April 2, 1998: Lyndon and Helga LaRouche address a meeting in Rome on the New Bretton Woods. The briefing is attended by Members of Parliament (both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate), economists, journalists, and diplomats.

April 7, 1998: Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi says, in answer to a question from EIR, "I personally believe that we must move toward a new Bretton Woods."

March 11, 1999: Helga Zepp-LaRouche addresses a Rome conference, sponsored by EIR and the Civil Rights-Solidarity Movement, on the need for Italy to join the "Survivors' Club" and work to establish a New Bretton Woods and to build the Eurasian Land-Bridge.

Feb. 9, 2000: Italian Deputies Michele Rallo (AN) and Alberto Simeone (AN) ask the Italian government to comment on the necessity of a New Bretton Woods.

Feb. 16, 2000: Italian Sen. Riccardo Pedrizzi and other 22 Senators from the opposition parties of the "Polo della Libertà" coalition, introduce a first motion to the Senate, calling for a New Bretton Woods. Similar resolutions are presented later to the City Councils of Milan and Rome, and to the Regional Council of the Lombardy region.

Feb. 16, 2000: Italian Member of the European Parliament, Cristiana Muscardini (AN), presents a parliamentary inquiry on the New Bretton Woods, from the European Parliament to the European Commission.

March 7, 2000: Four Italian Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg introduce a resolution calling for a New Bretton Woods conference, "with the purpose of creating a new international monetary system, capable of gradually eliminating the mechanisms which led to the `speculative bubble.' "

April 7, 2000: A call for an Ad Hoc Committee for a New Bretton Woods is issued, and circulated worldwide for endorsement. The statement includes the text of the European Parliament resolution, with the following introduction:

"The governments of the G-7 nations have repeatedly demonstrated their unwillingness and inability to prevent the threatened collapse of the global financial system, through a prompt, and thorough reorganization of the system. This renders it urgently necessary that all those who recognize the devastating consequences of a systemic financial crisis, raise their voices.

"We, the signators, refer to Lyndon LaRouche, as the economist, worldwide, who has analyzed the causes of the systemic crisis in greatest depth, and over the longest time, and who, at the same time, has elaborated a comprehensive package of measures to be taken to overcome it: the anti-crisis program for a New Bretton Woods."

Over the coming year, the statement is signed by former President José López Portillo of Mexico, former President João Baptista Figueiredo of Brazil, over 500 parliamentarians from over 40 countries, and several hundred civil rights leaders, trade unionists, industrialists, and representatives of social organizations.

July 23, 2000: Lyndon LaRouche speaks on the New Bretton Woods in the Cenacolo Room of the Italian Chamber of Deputies in Rome. The invitation was extended by Hon. Giovanni Bianchi (Partito Popolare Italiano) who has been the promoter of a legal decree, later approved unanimously by both Chambers of the Parliament, for a debt moratorium for the developing countries.

Oct. 7-9, 2000: Lyndon and Helga LaRouche visit Ascoli Piceno, Italy, for public and private meetings.

Oct. 12, 2000: Lyndon LaRouche addresses an informal hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Parliament (Chamber of Deputies) in Rome, on the subject of "the reform of the Bretton Woods system, the present oil crisis, and the roots of inflation."

Oct. 19, 2000: Italian Sen. Riccardo Pedrizzi and other 24 Senators of several parties, both of the opposition and of the government coalition, present a second motion to the Senate, calling for a New Bretton Woods. The next day, the same motion is presented to the Interparliamentarian Group for the Jubilee 2000, the main organizer of the Assembly of the Members of the Parliaments of the World, held in Rome on Nov. 4-5.

Nov. 4, 2000: The Italian Catholic daily Avvenire publishes an article, titled "25 Senators of the Opposition Say: We Need a New Bretton Woods."

Feb. 26, 2002: Nine Italian Senators introduce a motion calling for a New Bretton Woods conference, citing the crisis in Argentina in particular: "The monetarist policy of the IMF toward the so-called developing countries such as Argentina has been directly responsible for the worsening of the situation in those countries, to the point of bankruptcy, forcing the payment of high interest rates and cuts in spending and productive investment which have seriously affected the domestic output of the real economy of those nations." The Senators aim to get 50 signers for the motion, and to get the same motion introduced into the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies.

July 2, 2002: Sen. Riccardo Pedrizzi, president of the Senate Finance Committee and member of the government coalition party National Alliance (AN), issues a statement calling for a New Bretton Woods conference. Facing a "global crisis," he says there is only one answer: "To organize at the international level the necessary forces for a reform of the global monetary and financial system, a New Bretton Woods, determined by the governments that can, through continental great projects of economic development, relaunch the world productive economy, and renew dialogue, peaceful cooperation, and employment."

By now, more than 100 members of both chambers of Parliament have signed the resolution first presented by Senator Pedrizzi on Oct. 19, 2000.

July 3-5, 2002: Lyndon LaRouche visits Italy, speaking at three events promoted by the Italy-Russia Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce of Vicenza, and the Milan-based Association for the Development of Banking and the Stock Market Studies.

Sept. 25, 2002: Italian Chamber of Deputies votes demanding a new international monetary system.

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