Executive Intelligence Review


Conte Gets Mandate as Italy’s Prime Minister; Savona Expected To Be Finance Minister

May 24, 2018 (EIRNS)—If Paolo Savona becomes Italy’s Finance Minister, as the Lega wants, the party for the EU is over. Savona, 82, is an establishment figure with government experience who in recent years turned his originally pro-euro position into a strongly anti-euro one. Savona has demanded Italy develop a Plan B, in case it realizes that staying in the euro is damaging to its national interests.

Two years ago, Savona commented on EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche’s proposal for saving Deutsche Bank in a private email: “I agree that we need an urgent plan for the European banking system, but the problem has deeper roots. The European architecture is badly built, and this will lead us from one crisis to the next. Probably the euro and the common market will survive, but weaker countries will be taken over by mere protest [political] forces, without solving the problem but just transferring it to the stronger countries.”

Savona waged a battle against the euro together with his university Prof. Giuseppe Guarino. Due to his positions, he was often ostracized by mainstream media, and only the website Scenarieconomici.it would publish some of his articles. Scenarieconomici.it is run by Prof. Antonio Maria Rinaldi, who was a student of Savona’s.

Nevertheless, on Dec. 27, 2017, Corriere della Sera published an article by Savona and Giorgio La Malfa, in which they urged the Italian government to “ask that Germany take the initiative of rethinking the single currency.”

The media portray him as a dangerous anti-German, and reprinted an older interview with Savona in which he compares the EU and German policy to the Nazi Funk plan. The German Manager Magazin wrote: “This 81-year-old-man is the real Euro-shock.”

Savona himself has issued no statement, but he has reportedly resigned from his current job in expectation of joining the government.

Yesterday, Giuseppe Conte received a mandate from President Sergio Mattarella. He will now form the government and go back for the swearing-in ceremony, followed by a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate.

Thus, the campaign started by the New York Times to Watergate Conte, alleging that he “embellished” his curriculum vitae failed.

Conte has a respected reputation as a lawyer, but is utterly inexperienced in politics. Thus, people expect that he will be a figurehead steered by the M5S and Lega heavyweights. Depending on the composition of the government, it will be clear which of the coalition partners will have gained more from the deal.

A key post to control Conte is the Undersecretary to the Prime Minister, a post which the Lega is expected to get, either for Giancarlo Giorgetti (if Paolo Savona gets the Finance portfolio) or Lorenzo Fontana (if Savona does not), in which case Giorgetti will become Finance Minister.

Lega head Matteo Salvini is expected to get the Interior Ministry, and M5S boss Luigi Di Maio the Labor Ministry. Di Maio also wants Industry and to merge the two, which is being negotiated.

The key post of Foreign Minister is expected to go to Giampiero Massolo, a former career diplomat, who has also chaired the domestic intelligence agency (2012-16) and is now head of the industrial firm Fincantieri.

It is not clear who will get the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry. The M5S has frightened everybody with their opposition to all infrastructure, and hopefully they won’t get it.