investmentwatchblog.com / March 4th, 2013
Anger Builds In Italy As Old Guard Plots Fresh Technocrat Takeover
Italy’s president Giorgio Napolitano is exploring the creation of a second technocrat government to break the political log-jam and calm markets after key parties failed to reach an accord, risking a serious popular backlash.
Italian officials say the Bank of Italy’s governor Ignazio Visco is front-runner to take over as premier despite warnings that this will be seen as an elitist ploy. It is far from clear whether the Democrats (Pd) in charge of the lower house will back the idea.
The plans amount to a near replica of the outgoing team of Mario Monti, though one greatly weakened by the earthquake upset in the elections a week ago . Almost 57pc of the vote went to groups that vowed to tear up the EU-imposed austerity agenda.
Stefano Fassina, the Pd economics chief, said his party is vehemently opposed to “any form of technocrat government, new or old”, insisting that the election result must be respected. Mr Fassina said 90pc of the country had rejected the Monti agenda and warned that it would be a grave error to try to force through the same reviled plans a second time.
Comedian Beppe Grillo repeated his vow to “bring down the old system” and dismissed the latest talks as cattle market trading by a depraved political class trying to circumvent the will of the people. “I repeat for the umpteenth time, the Five Star Movement will not back any government. It will vote law by law in keeping with its platform,” he said.
“We’re not a political party, we’re a civic revolution. This country is in ruins with two trillion in debts and we have to rebuild it from scratch,” he told a scrum of journalists. In a rhetorical play on the slogans of 1789 and 1917 he exhorted “all citizens” to descend on parliament.