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  • Italian Prime Minister Warns of EU Collapse

    In an interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine on Sunday, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti warned of the “psychological break-up” of Europe if the euro crisis is not soon resolved.

    To which there is only one thing to say: The European Union has been a schizophrenic construct from the very beginning, and the current, potentially fatal eurozone crisis was 100 percent predictable. History and the laws of economics are catching up with the European Union, and seems about to blow apart the EU’s artificial joining of the continent’s ancient and very diverse nations. You don’t often hear European leaders, let alone prime ministers, admit this obvious fact, though.

    Monti stated that the Euro crisis was creating national resentments that could damage the EU. Actually, the resentments have been there for decades, caused by the gaping fault line—running roughly along the frontier of the Roman Empire—separating the EU’s northern countries from those of the south. The EU as a conceptual construct of the continent’s elites has never managed to bridge the economic, psychological, and cultural chasm within Europe.

    Though Italy was one of the original six members of the European Coal and Steel Community, formed in 1951, it has never managed to claim status as one of the EU’s leading powers. The other countries of the southern tier joined the European project later after much reluctance and debate among existing members. Greece joined in 1981, Spain and Portugal in 1986. Within the EU, they have always been net recipient nations.

    During the period of negotiations that created the euro in 1999, Italy was only reluctantly accepted by Germany into the eurozone. It was obvious then and now that the Italian economy came nowhere close to fulfilling the required debt-to-GDP ratio and other fiscal membership criteria.

    The fact that Monti chose to deliver his message in a German magazine is no coincidence. The German–Italian relationship has long been on the rocks. Germans have little experience of Italians outside their annual vacations and sometimes refer to Italy as a “nation of waiters.” Furthermore, Germans are getting increasingly restive over the apparently unending requests for Germany to finance the EU’s faltering southern economies, a resentment voiced with growing frustration by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    For their part, Italians don’t like being badgered by Merkel and European Central Bank officials about necessary belt-tightening and fiscal responsibility before the ECB will consider a bailout of the Italian economy.

    As reported by The Wall Street Journal, during an all-night European summit in June, Monti told Merkel that he would refuse to sign off on any deals unless she agreed to help Spain and Italy, whose borrowing costs were rising steeply. Merkel did not appreciate the ultimatum. “This is not helpful, Mario,” she said. “I know,” Monti replied.

    For Obama Administration officials, who blindly bank on the EU as an international partner, the German–Italian spat should act as a warning on several fronts.

    The EU is by no means a solid monolith. The EU itself will ultimately fail, and it will be the people across Europe who will suffer because of the hubris of the elites in Brussels. Equally importantly, reckless social welfare policies have brought southern Europe, led by Greece, into an impossible fiscal situation with national debt is spiraling wildly out of control.

    These kinds of policies will have exactly the same effect on the U.S. economy—unless we reverse economic course and do it soon.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Italian Prime Minister Warns of EU Collapse

    1. Salvatore says:

      this article is so racist and prejudicial. It has no merit. The second biggest manufacturing power in Western Europe, maker of super cars, high-design kitchens, furniture- is "a nation of waiters"?

      You really expect me to believe the Germans think of Italians as a nation of waiters? Come on. Stop insulting my intelligence. Italy was way better off before it joined the Euro and should drop out asap.

    2. Joe O'Reilly says:

      This is not analysis. This is ideological rhetoric shoehorning world events according to a pre-formed domestic agenda to come out with "conclusions" that bear no relation to the events "analysed".

      Far too common, but no less reprehensible for that.

    3. Carol, AZ says:

      This is an excellent article and very accurate. Thank you Helle.
      I was in Europe when Greece collapse. The rioting lasted for days. Very little fact based reporting was reported here, in the States, about the seriousness of this domino effect..
      The Euro based economy has not worked and anyone with European roots, with relatives there, know that except for Germany, the European based Euro economy is collapsing country by country
      Helle last sentence should be the American wake-up call.
      We are trillions in debt, printing our way out of debt as the solution. Do you really think America that the IOU's out there that now consume 41% of every dollar will continue to remain unpaid? That's just one of the darkest secrets, silence by no leadership , no budget, and complete economic breakdown here at home.

    4. Stirling says:

      It's nice to see at least one offical of the EU actually telling the truth.. In the 10+ years of the EU existance it has been an experiment in socialism.. (which by nature fails evertime).. The problem the EU has is the prolonging of a large scale financial colapse.. which could be solved more quickly just by allowing countries to leave on their own accord and rebuild the way the free market captialism has always done.

    5. Julian says:

      Salvatore, how come when a person doesn't agree with an analysis, it's racist. I'm sick & tired of the term being bantered about at the drop of a vowel.

      • Stirling says:

        Salvatore & other Obama Lemings have nothing else to say when their arguement falls apart on facts.. Thus it's really like a Bully on a school yard situation – they have to call you names and intimidate.. Funny if you consider the liberals push no bullying for kids, but are hypocrites when it comes to politics and free speach..

    6. Frank says:

      It's an opinionated article, but it isn't racist. Germany has the strongest economy with a manufacturing sector that does OK even in a global slow-down- to say that doesn't make someone racist…

      Anyways, I will agree that there is some fiery, divisive rhetoric in here. “nation of waiters" … I wonder if that phrase is truly used in Germany.

    7. Xboom says:

      Obama Lemings? Obama Lemings? Eureka!!! Brilliant, succinct, concise, simple, complete, to the point and all the other redundancies that I cannot command. That ranks right up there with, " the Washington arm of the Chicago crime mob". Thank you for you insightful comments. More, More, More.

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