lunedì 29 dicembre 2014

The European debate to my American readers

I have noticed that over the last few weeks, people who read my blog from USA have increased dramatically, and this post is for them.

First of all, please, excuse my poor English. I hope that you will correct my mistakes. Consider it just like the Italian way to communicate in a world dominated by Anglosaxon culture!

I want to be extremely frank with you, macroeconomy is not my cup of tea because I have a degree in business and administration, and I work as statutory auditor and chartered accountant. In any case, I studied in depth the topic of financial crisis since 2011 and I had an excellent professor.

In Italy, people like me are called Euro-skeptical and are blamed to be against Europe. But, in my opinion, this is more or less like to call anti-German, or anti-Italian, those who fought Nazi and Fascist regimes during the Second World War. So, let's see together against which kind of Europe people like me are fighting for.

You can see in the following picture the net international investment position (as a percentage of GDP) of each Eurozone country compared between the year of introduction of Eurocoin, and in 2013. Focus on the PIIGS countries (PIIGS is the cute nickname some economist gave to: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) and look how their position has worsened, and, on the other hand, what awesome surplus gained "virtuous" nations such as: Germany, Hollande, and Luxembourg.

The following is the same situation in 2013 (in billions of euros):

That's the result of the introduction of Eurocoin. Let me say it better: "A particular aspect of the process of financial integration in Europe after the introduction of the euro was a major increase in cross-border bank activity. Exposures of banks from non-stressed countries to stressed countries more than quintupled between the introduction of the euro and the beginning of the financial crisis [...] As a result the inflow of relatively cheap financing turned in a huge credit boom in the countries now under stress. As we know, credit was not perfectly optimised by rational private agents. On the demand side, in an environment of low interest rates, consumers and firms, anticipating future growth, frontloaded consumption and investment like good intertemporal optimizer. On the supply side, European banks and financial markets did not perform according to the theory in managing credit risk. It was this then led overheating, wage and price pressures, losses of competitiveness and high current deficits" (read more).

Maybe some of you are thinking: "That's ridiculous! Are you kidding me?". No at all, I am just reading an official statement of the European Central Bank (ECB). This is not a joke and Vice President Vitor Constancio of ECB, in his Athen's speech in May 2013, really said that the financial crisis in Europe was caused by the same notes issued by his bank!

Ok, now you maybe want to know how democratic countries have reacted to the words of ECB? Democratic countries? What's a democratic countries?! In Greece and Italy where Prime Ministers was removed and replaced by Eurocrats managers, no media TV or newspaper published those news. Instead, since the crisis began they follow to repeat the government propaganda that we must reduce public debt and do our homeworks (such as reform to our constitution, market labour, justice system, etc. etc.).

The following picture shows how Italian government has faced the crisis:

You can see in the figure above the Italian current account balance (balance of trade) in percentage of GDP since the year 1990. Italian trade surplus began to fall since 1997 (remember that Lira currency was revalued between 1995 and 1999 when European governments have fixed exchange rates of theirs currencies, that was the first step of the creation of Eurocoin in 1999). Since 1999 Italian surplus turned into deficit, that is, we began to import more than we export. The adjustment of 2011, began under Mr. Berlusconi government, and completed by Mr. Mario Monti, destroyed domestic demand by austerity policies in order to recovery the current account balance. "Destroyed domestic demand" could seem harsh words, but I am just quoting Mr Mario Monti itself in the following interview at the BBC (never seen on Italian TV, obviously):

Consider the fact that in other countries such as: Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain, the adjustment was even more severe, or we can say more properly, tragic.

And what's the result of destruction of domestic demand? Well...unemployment for sure.

Let me summarize the way in which European PIIGS government faced the financial crisis. They devalued the labour factor with austerity policies (resulting in unemployment) in order to defend their fixed exchange rate with Eurocoin. In other word they preferred work for the foreign investor instead of assisting their citizens during the crisis. What a masterpiece of democracy!

I know, many of you believe that the solution of the problem is that European Union become a federal country such as United States. But, are you sure that is enough to turn foreign debts and credits in internal transfers to fix it all? Europe is so far from being an optimal currency area and in order to work as a nation state, richer regions should finance poorer ones. But nowdays, for instance, Northern Italy is not very happy to finance Southern Italy. In Germany the rich region of Bavaria does not like to pay for Saxony, and in Catalonia, Spain, there is even a strong movement for independence. Do you really think that intra-European transfers could be a viable solution?

Anyway, beyond regional selfishness, tell me why people who now live of their own work should accept to live as subsidized only because we must create United States of Europe that nobody wants?Especially now that people blame Europe for austerity policies made to prevent the breakup of Eurozone. It was supposed to be a dream, not a nightmare.

But European politicians simply do not care about the public opinion.

Herman Van Rompuy, former President of the European Council last April declared: "The whole European territory outside Russia" will be tied in some way to the EU. He admits he does not know if there is public support for such a move "But we do it anyway"
De Staandard

Former President of the European Commission José Barroso said that the founding fathers had come through the Second World War with perhaps understandably a jaded view of democracy. They fretted that, left to themselves, electorates might fall for demagogues. So they deliberately designed a system in which supreme power wielded by appointed Commissioners who don't need to worry about public opinion.

President of European Commission in charge Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker made several brilliant declarations. My favourite is: "We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don't understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back".

What can I say?I mean, those guys have no sense of decency. You cannot even call it a conspiracy, because they made very clear their intention to get rid of democracy in Europe!

Well, now I really hope that you have understood how the word Euro-skeptical is misleading, and that behind European debate is the real battle between people who stand for freedom and democracy and those who support oligarchy or even despotism.

Thank you very much for your attention. Please, share it.

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