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
Great Britain was always a convenient scapegoat for the EU woes to take attention off domestic problems for member states, such as Italy. Matter of fact, Great Britain was the most sound of the lot and had dodged a bullet. Moreover, Italy has been in a near-collapse state for years
Italy is on the cusp of tearing Europe apart but the economic and political crisis brewing in the nation is largely going unnoticed.
All eyes have turned to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union as having the most drastic political and economic impact onto the 28-nation state but if you look at the country’s economic data, bank issues, and the impending constitutional referendum coming up, Italy is like a bomb waiting to explode.
The Italian financial system, which to put it gently, is in a major state of flux right now. While Britain’s EU referendum in June was seismic in terms of having economic and political repercussions across the bloc, there is another referendum of equal importance, coming up in Italy in October, and the result could fundamentally alter the state of the already delicate Italian economy.
A multibillion Russian investment in the field would make it a Russian project which neither Syria nor Hizballah would dare attack, even though it belongs to Israel.
But now the situation has assumed a different face. Russian forces are streaming to Latakia, and Moscow has declared the area from Tartous, Syria up to Cyprus closed to shipping and air traffic from Sept. 15 to Oct. 7 in view of a “military exercise including test firings of guided missiles” from Russian warships. Continue reading
Even a lunatic can be right about something from time to time.
“The EU acknowledges the hegemony of Germany, which in its turn recognizes the United States’ dictate. Therefore, we are not far from the circumstances which sparked two bloody world wars in the XX century,” the prominent Italian politician said. Continue reading
As ISIS makes inroads into Libya, officials in Rome are panicking about an Islamic State just across the sea—but have no idea how to combat the crisis.
ROME — Last weekend in Italy, as the threat of ISIS in Libya hit home with a new video addressed to “the nation signed with the blood of the cross” and the warning, “we are south of Rome,” Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi shuttered up the Italian embassy in Tripoli and raised his fist with the threat of impending military action. Never mind that Italy has only 5,000 troops available that are even close to deployable, according to the defense ministry. Or that the military budget was cut by 40 percent two years ago, which has kept the acquisition of 90 F-35 fighter jets hanging in the balance and left the country combat-challenged to lead any mission—especially one against an enemy like the Islamic State.
Because we can see that there is a complex and clever system in Russia, quite opaque and full of interesting details and inner rules, we should conclude that the system came about by intelligent design. But how? The evidence strongly suggests that it did not come about by chance. This book firmly rejects the ideas often promulgated in Western academic circles that Putin is an ‘accidental autocrat’ or a ‘good tsar surrounded by bad boyars.’” – Karen Dawisha, Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?
The elite [are] the ultimate authority [in Russia]: it provides the collective leadership of which [the president] is a member and which decides, among other things, how long he should serve as President. The elite has to have some mechanism at its disposal through which such decisions can be reached and through which controlled political events can be coordinated. It is essential to the success of the strategy that this mechanism should be well concealed from the West. I lack the facilities to study how it might be operating. The likelihood is, however, that it functions under cover of some openly acknowledged body. The National Security Council might be a candidate for investigation as a possible front for this secret mechanism. – Anatoliy Golitsyn, Memorandum to the CIA: 1 October 1993
I want to warn Americans. As a people, you are very naïve about Russia and its intentions. You believe because the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia now is your friend. It isn’t, and I can show you how the SVR [Russian Foreign Intelligence Service] is trying to destroy the U.S. even today and even more than the KGB did during the Cold War. – Sergei Tretyakov, as quoted by Pete Early in Comrade J, 2007 Continue reading
Italy plunged deeper into political chaos this weekend after Beppe Grillo, the quixotic former comedian who holds the balance of power in parliament, suggested that the country may have to abandon the euro and return to the lire.
The rebel comic’s warning came amid a growing rebellion among grass-roots supporters of his Five Star Movement, with 150,000 signing a petition calling for him to open up dialogue with the centre-Left Democratic Party, the biggest force in parliament. Continue reading
For three or four months, European leaders have been confidently proclaiming the crisis essentially over. It seems they spoke too soon, as indeed they always seem to in this long-running euro-soap.
Last time a political crisis threatened to undermine the euro, the response was to impose unelected technocratic governments on the offending nations. It won’t be so easy this time around. Italians are in open rebellion, with Mario Monti’s pro-reform Civic Choice finishing a distant fourth in the elections. Italians have voted en masse against Berlin’s prescriptive austerity agenda.
The left-leaning Pier Luigi Bersani is still hoping to form a minority government, possibly with support from the comedian Beppe Grillo. Please don’t laugh: this is serious. They’ll make odd partners. The dull Mr Bersani could hardly be more different, yet to him almost anything would be preferable to leaping into bed with Silvio Berlusconi, which is the alternative. Whatever. 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
ROME (Reuters) – Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Tuesday Italy would be forced to leave the euro zone unless the European Central Bank gets more powers to ensure lower borrowing costs.
Berlusconi, who announced this month he will again lead his People of Freedom party (PDL) in a national election expected in February, said on a talk-show on state broadcaster RAI that the ECB should become a lender of last resort for the currency bloc. Continue reading