Google+ Followers

4 Δεκ 2014

Wolfgang Münchau in Der Spiegel : Italy leaving the Eurozone

Σε άρθρο του στο Der Spiegel στις 2 Δεκεμβρίου, ο Wolfgang Münchau συζητά την πιθανότητα να φύγει η Ιταλία από την ευρωζώνη. Ο εξέχων συγγραφέας δίνει έμφαση στη σοβαρότητα της απόφασης για τη σταθερότητα της νομισματικής ένωσης, αλλά θεωρεί ότι σε μια τέτοια περίπτωση, θα υπάρξουν άμεσα οφέλη για την Ιταλία. Το σημαντικό αυτό άρθρο από ένα σπουδαίο διανοητή όπως ο Münchau, όπως και πολλά άλλα που δε βλέπουν το φως τη δημοσιότητας στα εδώ ελεγχόμενα ΜΜΕ, μας έχει σταλεί από το γραφείο του Μπέπε Γριλλο στην αγγλική γλώσσα και το παρουσιάζουμε αυτούσιο πιο κάτω.

Just recently in Italy, there’s been a wide-ranging discussion about an exit from the Eurozone. Up until now only the opposition parties have been calling for this choice. But sooner or later, they too will become part of the government.One of the reasons why we have the Euro is because of the broad political consensusgiven to it by all the countries that sooner or later were to form part of that monetary union. Parties in opposition and in government were all in agreement. 
Above all, the agreement of the opposition parties was important, and during these 15 years they have all taken their turn in government, the SPD in Germany, the socialists in France and in Spain. Thus the Euro has resisted, since its introduction nearly 16 years ago, with many changes of government.

With the arrival of the Euro crisis, this level of agreement is no longer across the board. In Germany, the government and the opposition are nearly all in favour of the Euro. Even in France, the situation is officially like that. There, only the National Front is against the Euro. The situation in Italy is different. There, all the opposition parties are now against the Euro. To start with, that doesn’t mean that much. In Italy, the social-democrats, led by Matteo Renzi, have a big majority in parliament. 
And they are enjoying significant, though not overwhelming, public support. But in democracies, sooner or later, the opposition parties get into government. And thus it is important to understand whether a new government like that, would really implement its anti-Euro policy. Before the European elections, the Five Star Movement, the biggest opposition party, was calling for a referendum on the Euro. Up until now, the party has been Euro-sceptic - but it’s position has never been as harsh as it is now. A short while ago, Beppe Grillo the party leader, announced his firm opposition. His party would like to exit the Eurozone as soon as possible.
In the regional elections in Emilia Romagna, Renzi’s party won, but the Lega Nord got nearly 30% of the vote, a result that no one had predicted. The Lega not only wants a division between the North and the South of Italy. Just recently, it has come out in favour of an exit from the Euro, and it is this position that found favour with the voters.
Italy leaving the Euro would be the worst possible scenario.
And this has encouraged Silvio Berlusconi. Naturally, Berlusconi has never been completely in favour of Europe. But, being an opportunist, he too is questioning the future of the Euro. What’s more: he and his party, Forza Italia, the second biggest party in Italy, have a well thought out plan. Berlusconi wants to have monetary sovereignty once more and he wants to bring in a parallel currency in Italy, a currency whose value fluctuates freely in relation to the Euro. Wages and salaries, and obviously prices in the shops, would be set in this new currency. 
At the start, people would change the old Euro into new Italian Euro on a one to one basis. After that, the new currency would be allowed to float freely and the consequence would be that it would plummet immediately, probably by 30% to 50%. In a single instant, the Italian economy would become competitive once more.
For the rest of the Eurozone, Italy leaving the Euro would be the worst possible scenario. But actually, the country hasn’t had any growth since it joined the Euro. There are high levels of unemployment. Youth unemployment figures are frightening.
The next crisis is coming
One should not dismiss the anti-Euro strategy as pure demagogy or populism. An Italian exit from the Euro would give a technical resolution to Italy’s problems at a single stroke. Companies would become competitive once more. The national debt would also be converted into the new currency, otherwise, the decision would have no benefit. Foreign holders of Italian State bonds would have to accept a loss.

What’s just not certain, is whether the Euro could survive, after Italy has abandoned it. At that point, the European financial system would be in serious danger. The markets would probably speculate about the fact that other countries would try to get out. Would France want to stay chained to Germany, if Italy were to exit the Euro? The response is probably “yes”. It’s just that no one can be sure of this, because at that moment in time, the situation would be confused. 
What we are experiencing in Italy is the consequence of an anti crisis strategy that pushes away all the problems and resolves nothing. The next crisis is coming. It’ll be worse than the last one and it’ll require even more effort. And sooner or later one of these anti-Euro parties will get into government. And then it will happen.
Wolfgang Münchau