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Another ECB Coup in Italy

May 28, 2018 (EIRNS)—What happened yesterday in Italy can be fairly described as a coup. The coup executor was State President Sergio Mattarella, but the string-puller is the European Central Bank.

Typical of the general media coverage, the German economic daily Handelsblatt applauds Mattarella: “Italy’s State President Did It Right—Forza Mattarella!” Handelsblatt talks about the political chaos which has dominated Italy for weeks, neglecting the chaos that has dominated Germany for months. “Sergio Mattarella has fully used the power of his office and the Constitution and has prevented a populist coalition in Italy.” (“Forza Mattarella!” is like a sports cheer: “Go Mattarella!”)

The daily Il Giornale reports a confidential statement by Matteo Renzi, former Prime Minister (2014-2016) to a collaborator, saying, “In these days, Mattarella very much listened to Draghi and Visco,” referring respectively to the ECB president and Bank of Italy governor.

Mattarella’s own speech is the smoking gun. It was a mixture of beer talk and fake news delivered as a terrorist message. Here are the relevant passages:

“I shared and accepted all proposals for the ministers, except the Economy Minister. The designation of the Economy Minister always constitutes an immediate message, either a confidence or a warning message for economic and financial operators.

“I asked for that ministry, the indication of a prominent political representative of the majority, coherent with the program agreement. A representative that—beyond personal esteem and consideration—is not seen as supporting an often-manifested line that could provoke, probably or even inevitably, Italy’s exit from the euro....

“The uncertainty on our position in the euro has alarmed Italian and foreign investors and savers who have invested in our sovereign bonds and in our companies. The daily increase of the spread increases our government debt and reduces the possibilities for the government to spend for new social interventions. Losses on the stock market, day after day, are destroying resources and savings of our companies and of those who have invested in them, and outline concrete risks for the savings of our citizens and of Italian families.

“We must also watch the threat of strong increases of mortgage interest and for corporate financing. Many of us remember when, before the European Monetary Union, bank interest rates were almost 20%.

“It is my duty, in performing the Constitutional task of appointing ministers, to care for protection of Italian savings.

“...Membership in the euro is a choice of fundamental importance for the future of our country and our youth: If one wants to discuss it, he must do it openly and in depth, also because it was not an issue in the election campaign.”

Mattarella blatantly ignored a statement previously released by economist Paolo Savona and published by, in which Savona made it clear that he would stick to the coalition program, which does not challenge Italy’s membership in the euro or in the EU.

This shows how terrified the European elites are; and you can expect that they will do anything to keep their power.

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