If there were ever any doubts that the leaders of the Euroskeptic coalition that now runs Italy has a plan to defy the European Union its proposed budget should quell them. Both Deputy Prime Ministers, Luigi Di Maio of Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini of The League, were adamant about locking horns with European Union leadership over all issues of sovereignty between now and May’s European Parliamentary elections.
Their budget proposal which included both tax cuts and universal income blew past the EU budget limit of 2.0% of GDP, coming in at 2.4%. It has put their Finance Minister, Giovanni Tria, in a difficult position because Tria doesn’t want to negotiate this budget with Brussels, preferring a less confrontational, read more pro-EU, approach. Continue reading →
This is precisely why it’s oft said here that all roads in Europe lead to Berlin.
Germany is back with a Fourth Reich and has subjugated the entire European continent. If you’re looking for Nazis in Panzers, you’re roughly 70 years too late, as economic and political means were used. The leaders in Europe will continually push for integration and more integration until the United States of Europe dream is realized, even by economic and political force if necessary. Some nations will eventually leave while some, such as Greece, will stick around because they believe in the fantasy. There will be roughly ten in the end.
She’s the most dominant leader in the euro zone with virtual veto power over decisions
“The lesson of this crisis is more Europe, not less Europe,” Angela Merkel said in 2012 as the integrity of the region’s monetary union was threatened by financial instability, touched off by Greek debt, that was spreading through the euro zone’s weaker economies. By “more Europe,” the German chancellor meant a deepening of the continent’s noble mission—peaceful integration to ensure prosperity and democracy—of which the common currency, the euro, is the ultimate symbol.
In the intervening three years, Greeks have come to understand “more Europe” as something different: “more Germany.” That was one of the few clear messages sent in a referendum on July 5 that had everything to do with Greek voters’ views on how Merkel had imposed her vision of Europe on the zone and if their troubled nation would be better served as part of its grand project, or not.
Some think he’s still a comedian, however, he has it right in knowing that all roads in the European economic crisis lead to Berlin as it seeks to control Europe’s destiny for the fourth time.
In an interview with the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, Mr Grillo said: “The northern European countries are only holding onto us until their banks have recouped their investments in Italian sovereign bonds. Then they’ll drop us like a hot potato.” The comic-turned-political activist, who campaigned against austerity measures implemented by Prime Minister Mario Monti, compared the technocrat prime minister to “a bankruptcy trustee acting on behalf of the banks” and described his Five Star Movement as: “the French revolution – without the guillotine.”
He repeated his call for a referendum on Italian membership of the euro and insisted he was not anti-European, but a critic of the way the EU has evolved.
“I have only said we need a plan B. We need to ask ‘What has become of Europe? Why do we have no common tax or immigration policy? Why is only Germany getting richer?‘,” he said. Continue reading →
Europe’s brief respite from political and financial turmoil has come to an abrupt halt in the wake of a nerve-rattling Italian election, Britain’s loss of its cherished triple-A credit rating and troubling developments on other fronts.
On Monday, the euro fell to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in six weeks, but strengthened slightly against the British pound, which was shaken by the credit downgrade announced late Friday by Moody’s Investors Service. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost more ground in a single session that at any time since November. Italian bonds plunged and German bonds and U.S. Treasuries rallied, as nervous investors once again looked for safer harbours.
Two unlikely political hotheads – loudmouth comedian Beppe Grillo and Silvio Berlusconi, the aging schmoozer who never says die – turned the Italian election on its head, virtually guaranteeing that the country faces a period of political chaos. Continue reading →