Dimitris Rapidis

With reference to the article published at Spiegel summarizing the interview of Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti held by the broadcast, one fundmanental estimation is seeing the light according to my point of view: that both European leaders have a quite weird perception of what democracy and federalism should be meaning.

Monti has publicly and for the first time turned againt Chancellor Merkel’s policy to tighten austerity politics in Eurozone with reference to the Chancellor’s objections to a banking license for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Monti has indeed advocated the urgent need the European Central Bank to soar up ESM and give full access to available funds in order to rescue overdebted economies. In addition, Italy’s political leader has stressed out the problem occured when sometimes he is obliged to await for majority from the Italian Parliament in order to pass painful economic decisions. In other words, he has tended to present himself as a vigorous reformer, but with less sensitive lenses when it comes to elected Parliament to adopt or deny his decision.

Prime Minister Monti was chosen from his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi as one of the most trusted technocrats to give a solution to Italy’s economic deadlock. His measures have stirred up concerns but Monti remains solid in his determination. Nonetheless, his recent statement comes to a period where Italy is struggling to avoid a complete meltdown, and while his decisions are fully endorsed by the European Commission and Germany, Italian citizens do not seem to have the same feelings. Unemployment is increasing, federal spending destined to wages and pensions is stalled and grievances are peaked. Therefore, Monti is faced with a double dilemma: either choosing to encompass rigidity stemmed from Eurozone austerity politics or deciding to balance hard feelings of his citizens and turn down some of the major spending cuts that Germany is eagerly demanding from Monti. By his saying he clearly seems to prefer the first option. And his decisions will soon or later pull his chair of leadership and bring a new elected government in head.

On the other side, Monti’s accusations over Merkel’s stubborness look relieving in the eyes of Italians. Merkel’s popularity across overdebted countries is in zero levels and this is fairly explained. But Monti’s declared intention that his work would be easier if the Parliament was omitted by the legislative process shows his deep untrustfulness against democracy and its checks-and-balances mechanism.

Both Monti and Merkel pretend they want to save euro, but both desperately vie for conforming their specific interests: for Monti to be accepted as an effective technocrat and political leader that achieved to set Italy outside the debt danger zone, and for Merkel to continue smashing overdebted states and feed the crisis by choosing to widen inequality and divergence in Europe and increase Germany’s exporting gains from Eurozone’s instability.

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