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Italian Senate's New Bretton Woods Motion

May 13, 2003 (EIRNS)—Italian Senator Oskar Peterlini introduced a new motion today into the Italian Senate demanding that the Italian government campaign for a New Bretton Woods conference. Senator Peterlini took a similar action last year during the explosion of the Argentinian crisis. That motion was not debated in the Senate, but a similar resolution was debated and passed by Italy's other house of Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, on Sept. 25, 2002. [See also accompanying article, "Italy Takes the Initiative for European Infrastructure Growth."]

The new motion has been co-signed by 28 other Senators from most opposition and some government coalition parties. They include: Giulio Andreotti, former Prime Minister of Italy and main leader of the Christian Democratic party for the entire postwar period; Patrizia Toia, vice president of the Senate Human Rights Committee and former government minister for relations with Parliament; and Cesare Salvi, vice president of the Senate and former Labor Minister.

The text, from the Parliament's Gazzetta Ufficiale:

Peterlini, Andreotti, Baio Dossi, Bedin, Betta, Borea, Cambursano, Carrara, Cavallaro, Dalla Chiesa, Dato, De Paoli, Dentamaro, Dettori, Gaglione, Gubert, Liguori, Longhi, Malabarba, Marino, Michelini, Ruvolo, Salerno, Salvi, Salzano, Scalera, Togni, Toia, Zancan:

The Senate, considering that:

The crescendo of international financial and banking crises beginning in 1997 with the crises in Asia, Russia, and Latin America, up to the more recent crash of the New Economy in the United States, to the gigantic Japanese banking crisis currently under way, the bankruptcy of Argentina and the imminent crash of the international real estate bubble, is creating a great deal of concern among populations, leadership, companies, and families with savings, since this is not a series of isolated situations but rather the manifestation of a crisis of the entire financial system which is characterized by a speculative bubble which is out of control;

This financial bubble (which includes derivatives, all types of debts and financial titles) has reached the level of $400 trillion ($140 trillion of which is in the U.S.A. alone), compared to a world GDP of about $40 trillion, and this gap has been increasing particularly in recent years);

The effects of this crisis in the so-called developing countries have already been devastating, and the perspectives for the future are even worse, as demonstrated by the social-productive breakdown in Argentina, a situation which risks being repeated in many other countries on the Latin American continent, while Africa has been completely abandoned to herself and is the victim of new forms of colonialism. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has contributed heavily to the worsening of the crisis in these countries through a policy of high interest rates and budget cuts in productive investments which has severely undermined the domestic output of the real economic production of these countries;

In the advanced industrial sector, the speculative bubble and the financial crises have undermined the structures of the real economy.... Society has been polarized in such a manner that wealth has been concentrated more and more in the hands of the few, leaving the rest of the people in worsening poverty. This tendency is clearly manifested in the U.S.A. (and Europe is following the same tendency) where 20% of the population has more than 50% of the income, with clearly negative effects for the remaining 80% ... ;

The intervention of the central banks through only monetary policy—exemplified by the actions of the American Federal Reserve, which in the past months has reduced interest rates 13 times—has produced no positive effect on investment policy, but has simply served to refinance the financial bubble.... The consequences of the financial crisis on the real economies of the so-called advanced nations are evident and measurable in terms of reduction of employment, collapse of real production, a slowdown in leading sectors such as machine-tools, in the physical exhaustion of basic economic infrastructure, and in the dramatic reduction in fiscal revenues which then generates budget cuts which produce a further negative spiral;

The consequences of the crash, which are not only economic but also political and potentially military, are so serious that they demand that democratic political forces place this global economic crisis and the solutions to it at the center of strategic discussions, including in order to propose new policies of development and cooperation as an alternative to clashes of civilization, wars and international tensions;

Commits the Government:

To take the initiative to continue, in the competent international fora, the activity of study and proposition of a new, regulated financial architecture, capable of avoiding speculative bubbles and sustaining the real economy;

To undertake, in particular, the initiative to propose a new international conference at the level of Heads of State, of Governments and of Parliaments, like the one organized in 1944 at Bretton Woods, with the aim of creating a new international monetary system and defining those measures necessary to eliminate the mechanisms which have led to the formation of the speculative bubble and to the systemic financial crash, and to implement programs of reconstruction of the world economy based on large infrastructure projects of continental dimensions and on investments in the real economy, to increase the effective productivity of the economic system.

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