27 May 2018

The Fix is In

The 5-Star and the Lega parties won the last election, with a combined 50% of the vote, and they agreed to form a coalition government with Giuseppe Conte as prime minister.
Conte has now ended their attempt to form a government because the Italian President has refused to approve their economy minister:
A standoff over Italy’s future in the eurozone has forced the resignation of the populist prime minister-in waiting, Giuseppe Conte, after the country’s president refused to accept Conte’s controversial choice for finance minister.

Sergio Mattarella, the Italian president who was installed by a previous pro-EU government, refused to accept the nomination for finance minister of Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old former industry minister who has called Italy’s entry into the euro a “historic mistake”.

“I have given up my mandate to form the government of change,” Conte told reporters after leaving failed talks with Mattarella.

Italy has been without a government since elections on 4 March ended in a hung parliament.

The country is now expected to go to the polls again in the autumn.

The president’s move to quash Savona’s nomination was unprecedented in recent history and exposed a deep divide between Mattarella, who serves as the head of state and is suppose to be politically neutral, and the two populist parties – the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right Lega (formerly the Northern League) – who have struggled desperately to form a government and support a more antagonistic relationship with Brussels.

Mattarella defended his decision by saying that naming Savona as finance minister – which he already said he opposed – posed a risk for Italian families and citizens, because it created uncertainty in the Italian economy.

“I asked for that ministry an authoritative political figure from the coalition parties who was not seen as the supporter of a line that could provoke Italy’s exit from the euro,” Mattarella said.

“The uncertainty over our position within the euro has alarmed Italian and foreign investors who have invested in securities and companies,” he said.


Mattarella said he would evaluate a call by the leaders of the M5S and the Lega for snap elections. He summoned a former official at the International Monetary Fund, Carlo Cottarelli, to the presidential palace on Monday, which was interpreted as a sign that Cottarelli would be asked to form a government of unelected technocrats.

Mattarella’s move could risk a constitutional crisis.

Matteo Salvini, the bombastic head of the far-right Lega, angrily denounced the decision to block Savona, his personal choice for finance minister, saying that Mattarella had overstepped his authority and was revealing bias against a qualified individual – who once worked at the Bank of Italy – simply because he is anti-euro.

“In a democracy, if we are still in a democracy, there’s only one thing to do, let the Italians have their say,” Salvini said.

Luigi Di Maio, who heads the M5S, also criticised the decision.

“In this country, you can be a condemned criminal, a tax fraud convict, under investigation for corruption and be a minister … but if you criticise Europe, you cannot be an economy minister,” he said.
Basically, the Italian President said that the fact that the Economy Minister was a Euroskeptic was bad for the bond market, and besides, he really likes the EU and the Euro, so f%$# you.

There are deep and profound problems with the EU and the Euro Zone, and the conventional thinking will not solve those problems, because it never solves those problems, and the fact that the responses of the Pro EU establishment are increasingly un and anti-democratic in response.

This will not end well.


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