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The populists of the spread have already won Italy’s election

By Giorgio Cremaschi

The role of the spread in the upcoming elections, as with all that is left of our democracy, has powerfully resurfaced. Giorgio Napolitano already announced this in saying that we must await the verdict of the markets. This was echoed in the mass media and actors Fiorello and Luciana Littizzetto.

So on Monday morning the banks and financial funds, especially Italian ones, combined the useful with the pleasant. They sold Italian sovereign bonds that had been purchased at a lower price making a decent profit. And they have pushed up the bond spread, clarifiying to all those who are candidates standing for election who’s really in charge.

Silvio Berlusconi was just a useful idiot of the regime’s game plan. Everyone in Italy knows that not only has he no chance of winning, but that his return to the field is the sign of a crisis of the Right and its shameful elites that is destined to last. That cynical and unscrupulous real politician, Mario Monti, has used the despair of the billionaire populist to warn everyone, and above Bersani and the centre-left.

I am the spread, said the new Sun King, Italian politics must bow to me and my agenda, quite how, we’ll see. And immediately, the regime’s can-can was unleashed.

The problem is not only Berlusconi, but also the unreliability of the centre-left that has its own internal chi – listen, listen, dare not to question any of the government’s actions. The news was replete with the new leaders of civil indignation, and market analysts, finding pensive confirmation of these concerns. To which the center-left  responded, or stuttered, with Pier Luigi Bersani’s proud statement in the Wall Street Journal, we are with Monti, who does not need to run for election because we will keep all of its commitments and maybe we’ll make him President.

Thus, the spread has already won the election even before the dissolution of Parliament. Who will dare again, once in government, to question the EU fiscal compact or a balanced budget, but also the pensions and labour counter-reforms, or the property tax? But come on, we all know that at this point the elections are primarily a media bubble of chatter in which it becomes difficult to even make promises, and thus the old show of anti-Berlusconi and pro-Berlusconi will return.

If one really wants to do otherwise one should have the courage to openly challenge the spread and prepare measures to neutralize the repercussions. Including, if you tax the rich, prepare for their escape abroad and act accordingly, so if you want to do something different from Monti you must take for granted the revenge of the spread and equip yourself against speculation and finance. Otherwise it is the latter that governs, with Monti.

It is not the tired populism of Berlusconi that scares me, but the spread, the class struggle from above, of big business that appeals to the people to defend the government of the banks. The palace politics and the Vatican already have prostrate. I do not think that Beppe Grillo could represent a real alternative, for the simple reason that the votes he takes are against the chicken thieves of the political caste and not against the lords of the spread.

The alternative Left is hurriedly and desperately organizing, but I do not know if there is time to overcome years of delays in decisions and programmes. So we are politically far behind Spain or Greece, but like Greece in that we will be voting under the dictatorship of the spread.

The only advantage we have is that these elections are close, and will soon pass. Then there will be the fight against the power of the lords of the spread, one that we must organize, and this will intensify as the advancing crisis of that power shows its futile ferocity.

We will be meeting in Rome on December 15 to define a political agenda and economic alternative to the one that dominates us – we who organized the first No Monti Day and already know it will take many more.

Giorgio Cremaschi is a leading figure in the FIOM metalworkers union and radical left activist

MicroMega 11 December 2012

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Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or email [email protected]


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