Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mario Monti said he will stand down- and it’s already chaos

Last week, Silvio Berlusconi did not only declare that he will run again to be Prime Minister. He also withdrew his support for Mario Monti’s technocrat government.
The two things combined have already caused chaos in Italy.

Mario Monti and Silvio Berlusconi

After losing the support of Berlusconi’s party, Monti does not have a majority in Parliament anymore. So, he has announced that he will resign as soon as the 2013 budget is approved, which could be already this month. 
Unheard paradox: the technocratic government, appointed because the previous PM resigned, has to resign as well. The ones called to fix the situation are being kicked out. This could happen only in Italy. 
As soon as Monti announced his intention to leave, the Italian stock market crashed and the Italy- Germany spread skyrocketed again. It brings back the good old memories of the last days of the Berlusconi government, just before Monti came into power. 
According to experts’ forecast, Parliament might be dissolved on 21st of December. There you go, that’s the Mayan forecast coming true: it is not the end of the world, but it certainly is a catastrophe for Italy. 
The most absurd thing of all, as hard as it is to find something that is not absurd in this whole story, is that Berlusconi’s party has always fully supported Monti, and that nobody thought about pointing it out to Berlusconi.  
As the Italian journalist Marco Travaglio rightly observed, Berlusconi, just like in the past, will run “an electoral campaign relying entirely on television, with only some alterations for what concerns his targets: instead of the Communists, Merkel and the Euro; instead of the “red judges” (magistrates who persecute him solely because, he claims, they are “Communists”), Monti and his taxes. The fact that the Euro came into place in 2002 under the second Berlusconi government, everyone forgot it. The fact that “People of Freedom” is part of the “European People’s party” together with Merkel’s “Christian Democratic Union”, is a detail for amateurs.  The fact that “People of Freedom” has voted in favour of every bill of the technocratic government, who even remembers that?” 
That’s the biggest fault of the Italian people: short memory.  
According to the latest news, centrist party leaders are now encouraging Monti to run (with them or on his own, it’s still unclear) in the next election. Also Merkel and Hollande seem to wish that Monti will still play a part in Italian politics. 
We don’t know if Monti will run or not, but apparently he is leaving a “memorandum”, a to-do-list for whoever will be his successor, in order to continue the series of reforms he started to steer Italy out of the economic crisis. Good thinking, Monti, write it down: otherwise, we would forget about your memorandum in no time at all.