Questo articolo è stato pubblicato il 05 aprile 2013 alle ore 05:59.
L'ultima modifica è del 05 aprile 2013 alle ore 05:32.
A heavy air hangs over Italy and other European Union and European Monetary Union (EMU) countries concerning the construction of Europe, fueled mostly by the lingering of the crisis. Even for convinced Euro-enthusiasts there are many questions that must be explained and solved. But this is very different from abandoning a historic edification that has been going on for 60 years.
In the past, as well as now, there were at least three categories, each one with its own negative approach to Europe:
1. The (regressive) Euro-adversaries, including those who, for various reasons, defended national sovereignties, as well as those nostalgic for devaluations, inflation and lighthearted finance;
2. The (argumentative) Euro-skeptics, including those who feared that the union of the market first and the monetary one later (m+m) would not hold without a unity of tax codes and economic policies, given the extremely wide gaps between member countries;
3. The (motivated) Euro-realists, who even while clearly seeing the limits of the two unions (m+m) thought they would favor both the convergence between member states and the passage toward further unions—that of economic policies to start with, all the way to the institutional one leading to a federal state.
Then there were, and are, (emotional) Euro-enthusiasts, who for idealistic conviction or for conformism see only the advantages of the two unions (m+m).
During the crisis both the Euro-skeptics and the Euro-adversaries have significantly grown in number, for reasons that should be analyzed.
Let us begin with Europe, the institutions of which are responsible of many ongoing mistakes, the main one being the attempt to tackle the crisis with fiscal rigor alone, “mitigated” by interventions from state-saving funds and from the European Central Bank in favor of certain countries, with deep, inexplicable disparities in treatment.
All this will not determine the breakup of the euro, mostly because this currency, at this point, is part of the global economy, which would suffer devastating backlashes.
Let us move on to Italy, a country that seems to have assumed an excessively appeasing position toward the Euro-German technocracy. A recent case is that of its federal government’s debts to private businesses, which seem to be payable only by guaranteeing European Commissioner Olli Rehn that we will respect the European obligatory deficit-GDP ratio under 3 percent in 2013 and subsequent years.
At this point we should recall the events of the last 20 days.
On March 18, a joint statement of the two vice presidents of the European Commission, Antonio Tajani and Rehn, authorized (or even solicited) the government to pay its debts to businesses.
On that date these debts were estimated at 70 billion euros, then later updates brought them up to 100 billion. Everything looked well under way, at least for a rapid payment of half of the total amount as requested by Confindustria, Italy’s main industrialists’ association. Even the Italian Parliament almost unanimously (a unanimity later inexplicably mitigated by the Five Star Movement) gave the green light to the government to issue a decree on the matter.
Yet, at that point a supervision operation by the above mentioned Commissioner Rehn began with a request for a warranty by the government of that 3 percent limit of deficit over GDP ratio for 2013 and years to follow.
Hence, the government, intending to spread the payment over a few years time, postponed the decree to explore in depth the modality of the debt payments, which could be solved, instead, by following the indication by Confindustria and Astrid (Bastianini and Messori) with a system of public warranties on certified credits discountable through banks and the Deposit and Loans Bank, the burden of which would be diluted over time for governments.
The government should not forget to tell Rehn that our deficit, estimated among the lowest in the euro zone at 2.1 percent, will remain lower than those of France and Spain, countries that enjoyed a better treatment by the commission not because they are better than us but rather because they are politically and institutionally stronger.
Evidently, our other strong points aside, it is not enough to say we have a higher public debt-GDP ratio. Spain, for instance, is expected to have a 6.7 percent ratio in 2013 and yet it asked for and obtained a 100 billion euro loan by the European fund and paid a large part of its government’s debts toward businesses with a financial trick the commission said nothing about.
Finally, the government should remind Rehn that the payment of a large part of the government’s debt to businesses would boost the GDP to the point that the potential (although preventable) growth of public debt over 3 percent thereof would return under that threshold.
In conclusion, only going from rigor to growth-oriented fiscal rationality we can protect Italy and the euro zone. Otherwise the Euro-skeptics will not be able to get us out of trouble—with solutions worthy of attention—because Euro-adversaries will prevail and will lead us to disaster.
I was in Delhi recently, where I spent most of my time in rooms full of people talking economics. But I did get out a bit to see some sights, and I found myself thinking about history. And I ...
ever in the 64-year history of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has it had to address so much human misery. At the beginning of 2014, more than 51 million people were displaced from their homes, uprooted by conflict and persecution. Many more have had to flee in the past twelve months.