In an article written May 26 for the German daily Neue Solidarität, the Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute Helga Zepp-LaRouche, discussed the impact of the negotiations on a new government in Italy on the overall strategic situation. Her article was written less than 48 hours before that government was rejected by State President Mattarella under pressure from international markets and the ECB. It begins as follows:
“It is no coincidence that the reactions to the proposed new government in Italy from neo-liberal circles are as hysterical as the reactions to Trump’s election victory were. There are two options now: financial warfare, as some suggest, and thus the end of the euro and the EU, with the risk of developments occurring such as those during the 1920s and 30s; or the positive programmatic approaches in the coalition agreement of the Lega and M5S — such as the Glass-Steagall Act and a Bank for Investments – could be used to carry out the already urgent reorganization of the transatlantic financial system.
“In an astonishing combination of arrogance and economic misunderstanding, politicians and media representatives threatened that Italy should be put on a tight rein from Brussels (Claus Kleber on ZDF); that the new government was on a ‘suicide mission’ (Spiegel); that ‘the putative government’s legislative programme would plunge the country into insolvency so quickly that it is widely regarded as a joke’ (London Times); that Italy has its proverbial dolce far niente financed by others, which is ‘aggressive freeloading’ (Jan Fleischauer in Spiegel); or – in an undisguised threat of financial warfare – ‘If necessary, the financial markets would put them back on the path of virtue’ (Daniel Caspary, Chairman of the CDU-CSU group in the European Parliament); ‘A storm is brewing’, no solidarity with Italy if it changes course (Elmar Brok); ‘a government program for the document shredder’ (Deutschlandfunk). It is food for thought when circles that normally can’t stop harping on an alleged lack of democracy in China have no problem deriding the electoral decision of an EU member state.
“These representatives of the neo-liberal establishment are obviously as incapable as Hillary Clinton of reflecting on the reasons why voters reject a policy they see as an attack on their standard of living and their prospects for the future. The revolt against this policy (which serves the interests of banks and speculators) has continued since Brexit in a series of similar voting results: the electoral victory of Donald Trump, the no vote on the constitutional amendment in Italy, the election in Austria, and just now the election in Italy.
“The reason why two Euroskeptic parties won there is obvious. The experience that Italy has had with the austerity policy imposed by Brussels and Schäuble has been negative. Thanks to compliance with the Maastricht criteria, the Italian economy went from growth to stagnation and then sank into recession. Actual unemployment is around 20%, and youth unemployment in the South is 60%. More than 250,000 Italians emigrate per year, which obviously represents a massive weakening of economic potential, and the health care system has deteriorated massively. In addition, Italy feels totally abandoned by the EU on the refugee issue. Over the years Italy has been a prize pupil of the EU, achieving a steady primary surplus and a balanced or even positive trade and payments balance, but nevertheless economic output has fallen since the introduction of the euro. Thanks to the budgetary discipline required by the EU, the average income has fallen behind that of Spain and industrial production is 20% below that of 2008. This ‘discipline’ has also widened the gap between the industrialized north and the less developed south….”
The entire article in English translation will soon be posted on http://www.larouchepub.com/
The article in the original German can be read at https://solidaritaet.com/neuesol/2018/22/hzl.htm