We have 28 May, and Germany has been a great success in its shrewd and relentless economic conquest strategy for Europe. For once, however, this German success could coincide with ours. What is it about? The fact that the 750 billion that the European Commission proposed to allocate yesterday for the response interventions to the economic crisis induced by the virus, will be managed mainly in the course of the next semester, which will be guided by chance – in the European Council, i.e. the maximum political body of the union – just by the Germans. It hasn’t happened since 2007.
It was always foreseen, it was not wanted, but it was probably a coincidence not foreign to the opening that Berlin decided to make on the provision of non-repayable appropriations claimed by the “Club Med”, the most needy European countries, starting with Italy and Spain.
But, of course: the idea that € 172 billion will arrive in Italy, of which € 81.8 million in grants – gifts, in short – and another € 90.9 million as a loan to be returned, but to be returned to the European Union, and not to fierce financial markets, is an idea to say the least comforting.
The 80 billion so far promised by the Conte government for the announced but not implemented interventions in support of the economy we should have gone to finance them all by issuing government bonds and hoping to find someone willing to buy them, or at least to place them at the ECB, another creature mainly subject to German wishes. Now we can finance them – or rather get them funded – practically for free.
In such a “day after” the questions that crowd in the head of all those who are interested in these things are:
1. But will Europe really give us all this money?
2. Whose credit is it?
3. Will we know how to spend it, and how?
Let’s try to answer, with a little realism. The first answer is: yes, he will give them to us, because the no of Holland, Austria and Sweden is clearly the result of a political “combine” with the German Great Mother, who has entrusted to them, in this game of compromises, the role of the bad cops. In short, there is a bet that from today to June 17 and 18 – when the European Council will meet to decide – the negotiations between the countries will evolve in the direction of a compromise. The Netherlands and the others will renounce the veto in exchange for some political (non-accounting) compensation that the beneficiary countries of the non-repayable payments and more substantial loans, like us and Spain, will have to grant to the others: some reform in more, basically; but not the transfer of sovereignty that the Troika (European Union, ECB and Monetary Fund) imposed on Greece in its time.
The second question has an easy-easy answer: the merit is not of whoever claims it. In particular, he is not from the Democratic Party, the first rooster to sing (“All the instruments put up to date, and their immediate availability, go in the direction desired by the Government and for which the Democratic Party has contributed to building conditions in the EU to get to this point in the negotiations ”, Nicola Zingaretti, secretary, has already warned).
It’s not true. Gualtieri has very little to do with Conte and very little in the German choice to actually listen to the French pressures – the third beneficiary country of the megabonus – and to make the negotiating component of the political ruling class of Berlin prevail over the hawks that repeated “nein” to any hypothesis of “supportive” intervention. It should not be overlooked that the real German objective was not to mix the creditworthiness of their beloved Bund – the government bonds issued by the German Treasury – with that of the Italian BTPs and the Spanish Bonos; and therefore this formula devised by von der Leyen, to finance this mountain of money by going on the market to ask for money that will be guaranteed by the European budget and not by the ECB – thus keeping the individual States on the safe side from any controversy over the poor quality of the debt – welcomes this basic need of the Germans.
The third question remains: will we know how to spend them, and how? Here the “nobility” of the Conte government will appear, and everything leaves us to fear that we will not be able to spend them well. Spend them yes, spend them well no.
After all: Conte was a lawyer, Gualtieri is a historian, Patuanelli is a construction engineer (also good, it seems) who, however, in 2005 founded the Beppe Grillo group in Trieste (but how do you do it?) And just remember what he said in those years the Genoese comedian on public works, industrial activity and happy degrowth to ask himself “che c’azzecchi” a grill to manage industrial development. Then, for heaven’s sake: goodwill will also take it, but it is little.
The worst government majority ever, torn between the Democratic Party and Italy live together against the Cinquestelle, within the Democratic Party, within the Cinquestelle, is and remains cohesive only around the common defense of the armchairs and does not substantially agree on nothing. The ability to manage such a treasure could rekindle the appetites of the opposition and the currents of the majority, and accelerate that slow slide towards the early elections that the premier and the few who are loyal to him hold back in all ways.
Having said all this, the big difference between yesterday and today is and remains that Europe, in the face of the enormity of the pandemic wound, has for the first time ever struck a blow. That it is not the last, that it is not denied. Please get the money. Then, no matter how badly we spend it, it will still be Keynesian blessed money.
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