Executive Intelligence Review


Potential New Italian Government Could Change Europe

May 22, 2018 (EIRNS)—If the new Italian government, formed by the populist M5S and Lega parties, comes into being, it may upset the EU applecart. Even if its anti-EU positions have been watered down due to pressures from Brussels conveyed by Italian State President Sergio Mattarella, the “Contract for a Government of Change” signed M5S and Lega leaders Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini calls for changes in foreign and economic policies which, if implemented, would break the EU’s geopolitical schemes and its austerity regime.

The contract characterizes Russia as a potentially more relevant economic and commercial partner and calls for lifting sanctions. As for Brussels, it proposes to examine the jurisdictions of the EU by returning to the member countries those jurisdictions that cannot be effectively managed at the level of the Union.

On the economic side, it recommends budget flexibility and a national investment bank; and last but not least, banking separation:

“We must go towards a system in which the retail credit bank and the investment bank are separated, both as concerns their type of activity and as concerns supervision.”

This is the first time that bank separation (Glass-Steagall Act) has been part of a government program. Both the Lega and the M5S, indeed, had Glass-Steagall in their election programs, and as many as 132 elected representatives, both nationally and locally, mostly Lega members but also a few M5S representatives, have signed a petition for Glass-Steagall launched in 2017 by the Italian LaRouche movement, Movisol.

Implementing Glass-Steagall would be the single government act that can finish off the global financial casino which is cannibalizing the real economy. However, for Italy as a member of the EU to do that, means violating EU law, which establishes the “universal bank” as the only model to be chartered. It would amount to exiting the EU or force a change of its treaty.

Because of that, and the Russia-friendly foreign policy, EU officials and “experts” have responded with threats. On May 20, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire stated that if commitments on debt, deficit and bank consolidation are not maintained by Italy, the entire stability of the Eurozone is threatened. He was then followed by European Parliament European People’s Party (Christian Democracy) faction leader Manfred Weber, who said that Italian populists are playing with fire with Italy’s debt. Well-known German economist Hans-Werner Sinn was quoted, “This will lead to the destruction of the European Union and bring the AfD [right-wing Alternativ für Deutschland] to power in Germany.”

Freshman Sen. Alberto Bagnai, a progressive economist who joined the Lega in order to carry out his pro-independence fight, explained in a radio interview:

“We do not want to make war against anyone, either the ECB or Europe. We simply want to put our country in conditions to recover and express its potential.”