Italy is one of the core nations of the European Union project. This week, however, its citizens rejected constitutional reforms from its pro-EU Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The referendum has shaken Europe. The EU appears to be fracturing, but Bible prophecy says that a core group of European nations will bind together to form the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. On today’s show, Stephen Flurry revisits some of the most troubling trends in Europe today and explains how they are leading to the fulfilment of Bible prophecy. Continue reading →
I recently spent several weeks in Italy, taking the pulse of the country. The Italian referendum on December 4 turned out exactly how I predicted it would.
The “No” vote won in a landslide, with 59% of the vote versus 41% for “Yes,” with a 70% turnout.
The pro-EU Prime Minister promptly announced his resignation after the crushing defeat.
A surging populist party waits in the wings. They’re now likely a matter of months away from taking power and then holding a new referendum on whether Italy should dump the euro and go back to the lira.
Insight from January of 2016 for today regarding the Italian economic crisis:
Italian banking stocks saw another day of meltdown on January 19 as skittish investors were spooked by the country’s burgeoning toxic loan crisis. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)
How a banking crisis in Italy could reverberate around the world
The value of Italy’s third-largest bank has plummeted by 60 percent since the start of this year. There are signs many are pulling money out of Banca Monte dei Paschi, out of Italian banks, and out of Italy in general. Even if the nation is not hit by a banking crisis imminently, the dire situation in Italy’s banks and its whole economy could still cause a financial disaster in Europe that would reverberate around the world.
We’re not talking a Greece-type crisis here. Italy is the eurozone’s third-largest economy, and the eighth largest in the world. Its economy is over seven times the size of Greece’s. An economic collapse in Italy would put Europe in a crisis far, far worse than the ongoing Greece crisis. Continue reading →
ROME/BERLIN (Own report) – Following Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi’s defeat in Sunday’s referendum, Berlin is urging Rome to quickly form a “capable government” and resume its adjustment to the German model of austerity. “The economic problems have to be tackled at the roots,” said Jens Weidmann, head of Germany’s central bank, yesterday. German financial experts are floating the idea of a cabinet of technocrats, modeled on the Mario Monti government. Monti ruled for a year and a half beginning in November 2011, without having been democratically elected and initiated an austerity program considered extremely harsh. Time is pressing: the bank crisis, caused, to a large extent, by bankruptcies due to German austerity dictates, which has been festering in Italy for a long time, is threatening to escalate. The Monte dei Paschi di Siena tradition bank’s recapitalization planned this week is acutely endangered. It cannot be ruled out that its bank crisis could soon spread to other Italian credit institutions and to German banks. Continue reading →
Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said he will officially resign Monday, after voters apparently rejected his proposals for constitutional reform. What should investors keep an eye out for after his defeat?
Although the referendum on Sunday was officially on Renzi’s plan for legislative overhaul, it was widely seen in Italy as a vote of confidence in the prime minister and his government. In voting “no” — projections suggest 59% of those in the ballot made that choice — the Italians have set the stage for an early election and perhaps given local populist parties the chance to deliver a Brexit- or Trump-style shake-up. Continue reading →
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini gives a press conference on the European Defense Action Plan at EU headquarters in Brussels on November 30. (JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
EU leaders say Europe needs a defense union so it can be a ‘superpower.’
Nations in the European Union have often talked about working together on defense. Many pro-EU politicians wanted some form of an EU army. But in terms of having actual, practical plans, they have had little success—until now.
On November 14, EU defense and foreign ministers agreed on concrete steps toward greater European military cooperation. Continue reading →
Table 1: Central bank FX and Gold transfers to the ECB, January 1999
The European Central Bank (ECB), creator of the Euro, currently claims to hold 504.8 tonnes of gold reserves. These gold holdings are reflected on the ECB balance sheet and arose from transfers made to the ECB by Euro member national central banks, mainly in January 1999 at the birth of the Euro. As of the end of December 2015, these ECB gold reserves were valued on the ECB balance sheet at market prices and amounted to €15.79 billion.
The ECB very recently confirmed to BullionStar that its gold reserves are stored across 5 international locations. However, the ECB also confirmed that it does not physically audit its gold, nor will it divulge a bar list / weight list of these gold bar holdings.
Questions and Answers
BullionStar recently put a number of questions to the European Central Bank about the ECB’s gold holdings. The ECB Communications Directorate replied to these questions with answers that appear to include a number of facts about the ECB gold reserves which have not previously been published. The questions put to the ECB and its responses are listed below (underlining added): Continue reading →
WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – Under German pressure, the EU is pushing toward the establishment of military structures, independent of NATO, as is evidenced by recent decisions taken by its defense ministers. At their meeting, ending yesterday, the defense ministers decided, as a first step, that particular EU countries should enhance their military cooperation. The EU will establish a logistic hub and explore the creation of a European Medical Command. They planned the setting up of a nucleus for an EU civilian-military headquarters that, according to Italy’s foreign minister, could grow to become a European general staff. These structures could serve NATO, but in the end, are suitable for an EU army. Berlin’s attempt to pit the EU against the USA, by ostentatiously taking a distance to President-Elect Trump, has encountered opposition from the UK and several eastern EU countries. Leading European foreign policy makers called the EU a “superpower” expected to be a “global security provider.” Continue reading →
German soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan (Photo: Wir. Dienen. Deutschland.)
Donald Trump’s victory, as well as Brexit, ought to speed up plans for EU defence integration, Germany has said.
“Europe needs common political will for more security policy relevance. The outcome of the election in America could provide an additional impetus”, German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen said in an opinion article in the Rheinische Post, a German newspaper, on Thursday (10 November).
“The Brexit decision and the election in the United States have set a new course” for the EU, she added.
She said it was “difficult for Germany and Europe, on the day after the election, to assess what to expect from a Trump presidency”. Continue reading →
Where the largest population in the world has set its sights
Englishmen: Did you know the Chinese now control House of Fraser? Italians: Did you know the Chinese now own Pirelli? Swedes: Did you know the Chinese now own Volvo?
Depending on how old you are, you’ll likely be either embracing or resisting the Chinese economic offensive into Europe. But if you’d been a Greek youth struggling with 50 percent unemployment in the eurozone crisis, you would have been loving the extra Chinese foreign investment.
China has been looking to break into Europe for decades; in the last five years, its efforts have finally paid off. From 2010 to 2014, Chinese investments in Europe went from $6 billion to $55 billion. And remember, that huge increase happened as China’s economy had been comparatively slowing down.
Guess who’s back? Germany’s Fourth Reich via a European Army it leads in partnership with France, who mostly toes the German line.
If you’re looking for Nazis, you’re roughly 70 years too late.
Brussels and Britain have long clashed over the concept of an EU army
SOLDIERS from five European countries will take part in war drills later this month in a fake country dreamed up by Brussels’ chiefs to prepare the EU army for future conflicts.
Under the exercise codename European Wind, Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria and Croatia have signed up for exercises in a make-believe war zone in northern Italy called Sarunia.
Brussels and Britain have long clashed over the concept of an EU army but military chiefs in Italy say they have been operating under the blue and gold flag of the union for almost a decade. Continue reading →
For more than two years Russian President Vladimir Putin has initiated an aggressive series of policy decisions aimed at advancing Russian interests and undermining the West, but recent events demonstrate the extent of Russian hostility.
During separate visits to Europe, UK and Italian senior officials asked a visiting Geo-strategy-Direct editor last month to explain U.S. President Barack Obama’s reticence to confront Russia in most policy areas. Continue reading →
FORMER Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was holding secret talks to get his country out of the Eurozone FIVE YEARS AGO, according to a leading German economist.
Hans-Werner Sinn, former president of the German Ifo Institute for Economic Research, has painted a grim picture of the Italian economy and warned it faces a struggle to survive such a ‘catastrophic situation’.
He said Mr Berlusconi realised the Italian economy could not survive within the single currency back in the autumn of 2011 and saw no alternative to pulling out as quickly as possible. Continue reading →
RELATIONS between Germany and Italy are set to hit breaking point, if Berlin’s steps in to rescue Deutsche Bank, after blocking Rome from doing the same earlier this year.
The leader has reportedly begged Germany to let him loan cash to Italy’s banks, as investors have increasingly lost confidence in the institutions, which are saddled with billions of pounds worth of bad loans.
In particular, Italy’s oldest bank Monte Dei Pasche has looked close to collapse several times this year, and Mr Renzi is still trying to secure a £4.2billion (€5bn) cash injection from investors for the lender. Continue reading →
As part of Iran’s drive to rule the strategic waves of regional waters, Tehran has negotiated a naval exchange deal with Rome for its warships to be berthed in Italian ports, debkafile’s military sources reveal.
In this context, the US Pentagon and Navy chiefs once again urged Israel to update and enlarge its war fleet, which they said was “full of holes” to catch up with the rapidly changing conditions opposite its shores, where Russia, Iran and Egypt are building up armadas of warships that are bigger and more advanced than ever before.Continue reading →