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Europe, Italy

Italy: Business as usual (actually it’s even worse)

By Francesco Piobbichi

Business as usual. European Central Bank Mario Draghi was the real election victor and his victory will allow him to run the country for another six months, on autopilot . The autopilot Draghi was talking about is nothing other than the set of rules laid down by the treaties (Fiscal Compact) recently approved and ratified by the European Parliament, which make budgetary rigor permanent. President Napolitano clarified Saturday, without mincing words, that Mario Monti is still in office, and since it is now the semestre bianco – the last six months of the Presidency in which the President cannot dissolve parliament – he will be there for some months more. Long enough to keep the public accounts in order, to go to Europe and reassure Berlin, and to keep Italy under the control of the ECB. Ideal for the banks and employers: keeping a technical, caretaker government, which cannot be brought down by a vote of no confidence, as it is already officially past its sell by date, but which ensures conformity with the Fiscal Compact.

So while Monti will continue with his activities, the parties in parliament will begin a long campaign in which they will promise paradise on earth but without really challenging any of the fundamental issues. In some respects Napolitano has endorsed the proposals of Grillo in recent days, for example, as the comedian said, “a parliament can continue to operate without a new government,” omitting, however, the fact that under this proposal Monti, although having resigned, remains in office until a new government gains a vote of confidence in parliament.

To get by in this situazione Napolitano has appointed two small groups of personalities to continue to work to find a common program to enact “reforms.” For how long this will last is not known, since after the end of the mandate of Giorgio Napolitano we will need to elect a new President of the Republic, who will then eventually dissolve parliament and set the election date, which may be held in October. Meanwhile Democrat Party leader Pierluigi Bersani remains silent, Monti approves and Silvio Berlusconi’s PDL expresses confidence in the President. No political force currently in parliament has made a sensible proposal about the crisis and against international treaties that has put the austerity noose around our neck. Grillo’s Five Star Movement cries inciucio, or political stitch up, but now resembles the one who says they want to change everything, so that everything remains the same.

Controlacrisi 30.2.2013

Translation/edit by Revolting Europe

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope


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