Italian Coalition ‘Contract’ Is Declaration of War against EU and Its Austerity Policy

The populist anti-austerity 5 Star Movement and the anti-mass migration Lega Nord party leaders are meeting this weekend to finalize their program. None of this bodes well for Washington or London’s ability to keep the Italians in line without serious public arm twisting (or threats to collapse the shaky Italian banks), which in turn, will fuel more resentment of the Anglo-American dominated Atlanticists’ shaky alliance with the austerity imposing Franco-German bloc. This is particularly the case at a time when Berlin is resisting Washington’s pressure to drop the Nordstream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. For how can Berlin demand the Italians knuckle under to Washington’s demands to keep losing billions every year in trade with Russia for the sake of ‘good European’ values and ‘solidarity’ — while the Germans get to keep their expanded gas pipelines to the east?

Politically with the current fed up populist mood fueled by rampant youth unemployment and stagflation, such demands can at best, only receive temporary, sullen compliance. It is likely however, that we will see some sort of hint at Italian major bank insolvency, should the new government proceeds to openly attack the EU sanctions regime, which requires the unanimous support of every European Union member state to be continued. Once again, in addition to the core divides within the EU between the Germans and the rest, there is also the inherent contradiction of the Anglo-Americans demanding Continental Europeans bear the brunt of the economic costs from the second Cold War waged against Russia — and buy U.S. rather than Russian oil too. This exploitation and attempt to Make America Great Again at Europeans’ expense will not stand.

— JWS

May 17, 2018 (EIRNS)—The draft government “contract” of the “Yellow-Green” coalition between the Five Stars Movement (M5S) and the Lega, published yesterday, is a declaration of war against the EU and its austerity policy. Although many key points are still open to be changed by the two coalition leaders, and President Sergio Mattarella might (ab)use his powers to erase anti-EU parts, the program is a clear signal that the era of unchallenged EU supremacism is finished. The City of London freaked out, and its mouthpiece the Financial Times opined that “the barbarians are inside Rome”!

The “contract” calls for a national bank for investments; a process leading to bank separation (Glass-Steagall); a “radical review” of the bail-in procedure; a reduction of EU “jurisdictions”; a review of EU treaties and single monetary policies; and for going back to the pre-Maastricht status.

It calls for separating both the capital investment budget and the sovereign assets purchased by the European Central Bank from the calculation of debt to GDP ratio (Maastricht parameters).

It calls for lifting constitutional provisions for a balanced budget, and for an “appropriate” use of deficit spending.

On foreign policy, it calls for an opening to Russia as a potential partner and for lifting the sanctions.

On economic policy, the contract promises to increase pensions and introduce a €780 monthly “basic income,” similar to Germany’s Hartz IV, and seeks to the upgrading of Italian ports—but it also calls for blocking the construction of the Turin-Lyon Corridor 3 high-speed railway, the only major infrastructure project Italy is currently building, and which is a key part of the Genoa terminus of the Maritime Silk Road. This reflects the anti-science mob which is unfortunately strong in the M5S.

Although the Lega and the M5S now have a “contract,” there is still a long way to go to form a government. They have to divvy up ministerial posts and come up with a candidate for Prime Minister, whom President Mattarella, who is pro-EU, must approve. The deadline for that has been set for Monday, May 21.

In response to a preliminary version of what was leaked to the media yesterday, there was a general freakout by the City of London and the mainstream media. Le Monde referred to it as “a deadly challenge to the EU.” The Financial Times ran an editorial, headlined “The Barbarians Are Inside Rome.”

Lega head Matteo Salvini replied: “Better barbarians than slaves.” From M5S, Manlio Di Stefano responded: “The barbarians have been ruling for 30 years” in Italy.