+++ 1. August 2012 +++
"Life after the Euro" Discussed in Italy and Spain
Giorgio La Malfa, the son of old Italian establishment figure Ugo La Malfa, came out on July 25 with a forceful call for an "orderly exit" from the euro, published in the financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore. La Malfa denounced "a certain technocratic arrogance" in the entire euro project, beginning with the 1992 Maastricht decision which he said "represents a fatal watershed in the history of European integration because it marked the dropping of the 'Monnet Method'… the decision to go ahead with the creation of the euro without the political conditions to sustain it is at the origin of the current disaster.” And today, those conditions are lacking even more, he comments.
"Politically – although it is painful to say it – the euro is doomed," La Malfa said. "Look at how many reservations are attached to the new treaties ratified by Parliaments, be they the Fiscal Pact or the ESM. Today, in no EU member country would there be a reasonable guarantee of success if such treaties were subjected to a popular vote… I wonder whether European government leaders should not offer evidence of far-sightedness by starting to reflect on an orderly exit from the single currency for all member countries, or for those countries which think that staying in the euro is too hard and unsustainable… The hazard of the Currency Union is now endangering what fifty years of European integration had succeeded in building."
Giorgio La Malfa is a member of Parliament with no special position, but his name is more important than his official function. His father Ugo was a protégé of Raffaele Mattioli, the head of Banca Commerciale Italiana when BCI was the keystone of the Italian banking system before WWII. Together with Mattioli, La Malfa Sr. was part of the Italian delegation at the Bretton Woods conference. Eventually, La Malfa founded the Italian Republican Party and led it until his death, becoming closely associated with Mediobanca, the only Italian investment bank, that had been created by Mattioli in 1946. Mediobanca was very introduced in European financial circles, through a special relation between Mediobanca's chairman Enrico Cuccia and Lazard Freres' Andre Mayer.
This faction is in favor of a return to the so-called "specialization" of banking activities (banking separation existing in Italy from 1936 to 1995), and of a ban on at least certain categories of derivative activities.
And whereas European governments, including that of Spain, keep claiming there was no alternative to bailing out the Spanish banking sector as a crucial intervention to save the Eurozone system, a broad public discussion is already developing inside Spain about a life without and after the euro. Spanish media have begun portraying scenarios of a collapsing euro, and of Spain then being forced to return to its old national currency, the peseta. On July 26, Jose Luis Gomez, leading columnist at the news daily El Pais, wrote in his blog that "a total failure of the euro and a return to the peseta" cannot be ruled out.
On July 27, the Spanish media reported on a brand new survey conducted by the research department of BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria), one of the largest banks in Spain, investigating scenarios for the total collapse of the euro, and the "return of each country to its original currency."
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+++ 24. Mai 2013 +++
Pope Francis Calls for Financial Reform
Two months after his election, Pope Francis has spoken out forcefully against the dictatorship of the financial markets, which is reducing humanity to misery. Speaking in front of the ambassadors of K...
+++ 24. Mai 2013 +++
Bundestag Passes Phoney "Bank Separation" Law
On May 17, the German Bundestag passed a bank restructuring bill touted by the government as the "first bank separation law passed in Europe." In fact, the law is a far cry from what the government cl...