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Views from Italy of another Europe



From the conference, “Out of the crisis with another Europe”, held on July 9, 2012 by the Green European Federation with the support of Sbilanciamoci! , a summary of Italian perspectives on the EU debt crisis and proposals suggested by sections of Italian civil society to overcome the crisis.


When Berlusconi resigned, Mario Monti's technocratic government was formed with the EU exerting pressure to adopt certain policies. The explicit intention was for Italy to regain its lost international credibility and to play once again a leading role among the founding members of European project. Hopes were high among environmentalists as well: Monti had signed two reports addressed to the European Commission in which the green economy and tackling climate change played a central role. These hopes were gone as soon as Monti's government cut welfare, social services and pensions, increased taxes for those Italians already paying them, de facto ignoring Italy's huge tax evasion, black market economy and the increasing gap between the richest and the poorest citizens, with 10% of the rich owning 46% of Italy's total assets (according to the Italian Central Bank). Environmental priorities and sustainable growth were not even mentioned. Monti showed little creativity at the EU level as well, his government having pursued the decisions taken at last European Council (June 28 – 29).


Five parties are currently represented in the Italian Parliament, of which three have been supporting the Monti government: Berlusconi's Popolo delle libertà – Freedoms' People (member of the European People’s Party European group); Unione di Centro, Center Union (also member of the EPP) and Partito Democratico, Democratic Party (member of the Socialist & Democrat European group).