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Italy – Time For Change

June 15, 2018

This March it looked at though Italy was poised to have its 67th government since World War II. However things are rarely what they seem here in the land of pasta.

After a two month hiatus a provisional government seemed imminent as the far right Lega Party and the left leaning Five Star Party agreed to share power and attempt to form a new government. They got together and proposed an unknown lawyer named Giuseppe Conte as Prime Minister, despite Mr. Conte’s dubious resume which according to many was a fantasy on paper. He lasted a mere four days before the whole Italian house of cards fell down. Why? President Sergio Mattarella would not approve the new government’s choice for Finance Minister because of his anti-EU stance in the past. In a true democracy this would not propose an insurmountable problem. Another acceptable candidate would be put forth and the government would go on. But remember, Italy has a parliamentary form of government that rarely functions. Conte bowed out, leaving Italy’s population in the lurch.

President Mattarella then took a most unusual step. He unilaterally appointed an old ex-IMF crony interim Prime Minister, thus nullifying the will of the Italian people and its millions of voters. In the end, two important points were obvious. The Italian population had not voted for Conte or his replacement, once again exposing the major flaws of a parliamentary form of government.

While Italy is Europe’s third largest economy and one of the founding members of the European Union, its political system is medieval at best. Their form of government simply does not work and does not reflect the will of its people. A vote in Italy is dismissed as easily as a stop sign.

Most people in Italy generally feel that they are the poor serfs of Germany and rightfully so. Germany under Merkel has become a political bully to the rest of Europe. It now has all the signs of a 1939 Germany, sans the swastika. To boot Germany, as self-appointed head of the entire EU, has designated Italy as the main dumping ground for the millions of migrants that attempt to enter the EU every year. The average Italian, despite being socially liberal, has simply had enough. Why they ask should an illegal migrant be given free housing, 35 Euro a day per head, a new cell phone and countless other benefits while they are living in relative poverty?

The big news flash came on June 1 as Matarella finally conceded power to the persistent but fragile coalition. They offered to out their original choice for Finance Minister and keep the original puppet Prime Minister in the person of Conte. To most Italians, including this Tirolean, it seemed no more than a poor game musical chairs to the tune of Pop Goes The Weasel. More than anything, it seemed as a move to appease a pissed-off populace ahead of Republic Day (June 2). We’ll see what develops. But something had better happen soon.

Italians voted for a fundamental change and received in return a repudiation of their vote compounded by juvenile political maneuvering. Italy is doomed to remain a third world mini power unless they change their entire political system very soon. A parliamentary system simply doesn’t work in a country so full of technocrats, old cronies and mafia driven career politicians. Perhaps they should consider giving the U.S. model a try. It certainly wouldn’t do any harm.

For more on this subject, see my earlier post:

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  1. I can’t understand a government that has both a president and a prime minister.

    Comparing today’s Germany to Germany in 1939 is a bit of a stretch!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you are a European resident, it’s not a stretch at all. Germany continues to bully most EU countries except France, often with ugly threats. .


  2. Well, some things are perfectly within the Constitution and to the President rights. It wasn’t the first time it was done.

    But Carlo Cottarelli was neither “old” nor a crony. Savona was both, at 82 he should not hold public office, especially in a government that call itself “Del cambiamento”.

    What was unconstitutional instead was Savona “Plan B” to abandon the Euro, without prior warning. Italy is still a democracy and that it is not a democratic way.

    Also, it would be unconstitutional to hold a referendum Brexit style, see Article 75 of the Constitution

    Non è ammesso il referendum per le leggi tributarie e di bilancio [cfr. art. 81], di amnistia e di indulto [cfr. art. 79], di autorizzazione a ratificare trattati internazionali [cfr. art. 80].

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not withstanding your points, I still believe an EU breakup is imminent. A government cannot ignore the will of the majority of its citizens and must eventually acquiesce to their wants and needs. The EU has been a France-Germany club from the start and other EU members are done being dictated to like children. Time will tell. .


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