Western European News Digest
Italian FDIC Head Calls for Abandoning Euro
Nov. 11 (EIRNS)Paolo Savona, a former government minister and current head of the Fondo Interbancario di Tutela dei Depositi (the Italian version of the FDIC), called for Italy to reconsider its membership in the euro monetary system, which has become a "rope tightening around its neck."
In a Nov. 10 letter to the editor of the daily Il Foglio, Savona wrote that, "Italy will be faced with one of those historic moments which require an important choice. The European noose is tightening around Italy's neck. The time has come to understand what is really happening in the reform of the [Lisbon] Treaty being discussed, and in the reality of European matters, taking the necessary decisions, including the decision of considering the opportunity to stay in the Union or just in the euro area alone, as the United Kingdom has done and is doing, independently managing its interest rate, its monetary creation, and its exchange rate. If Italy decides to follow the UKand this choice must be seriously studiedit would surely go through a serious adaptation crisis, with immediate but healthy effects...."
The Coming Irish Land Revolt
Nov. 9 (EIRNS)A leading Irish economist, Morgan Kelly, has warned that the onrushing Irish bank collapse, and the government bank bailout policy will lead to Irish mortgage holders refusing to make their payments, in an act of civil disobedience on the scale of the famous Irish land revolt of the 19th Century. This is where the term "boycott" comes from, referring to land agent Capt. Charles Boycott, who was ostracized by the tenants.
Kelly, who, in 2007, forecast a collapse of the Irish mortgage bubble, wrote, "The perception growing among borrowers is that, while they played by the rules, the banks certainly did not, cynically persuading them into mortgages that they had no hope of affording." This "gathering mortgage crisis puts Ireland on the cusp of a social conflict on the scale of the Land War."
Italy: Rehearsal for a Government Crisis
Nov. 10 (EIRNS)The Italian government went down three times yesterday in a Parliament vote on immigration questions involving a treaty with Libya. The end of the Berlusconi government is near, and much depends on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's will to fight. He knows, as he said, that if he agrees to open a crisis in the Parliament, he will get into a tunnel whose exit is unknown. The alternative is to have early elections, but in order for State President Giorgio Napolitano to decide that, Berlusconi has to exhaust all parliamentary alternatives, and that is what he is probably trying to do now.
What nobody says, is that it was London in the first place, which called for dumping Berlusconi, using the arguments of his "dangerous" personal relations with Libya's Qaddafi and Russia's Putin.
50,000 British Students Protest Tuition Fees
Nov. 11 (EIRNS)Over 50,000 British students demonstrated today at Whitehall, the government district in central London, protesting the tripling of university tuition fees, to £9,000 annually. The strike could potentially trigger a government crisis between the Conservative and Liberal Democratic parties, because the backbenchers of the latter oppose the tuition hikes.
Led by the National Union of Students and joined by lecturers and one member of Parliament from the LDP, the demonstration started peacefully, with a march from Whitehall, past Downing Street and Parliament, when a group of what were reportedly anarchists broke away and attacked the Conservative headquarters, rampaging throughout the building, throwing furniture out the windows, pulling down the ceiling, throwing fire extinguishers off the roof and plastering the walls with graffiti, with slogans such as "Tory scum" and worse.
Tory Party workers had to lock themselves up in their offices, hoping they would not be thrown out the windows with the furniture. Effigies of Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg were burned. Fourteen demonstrators were hurt and 51 arrested, and demonstration leaders have vowed more action.
German Daily Sees 'Austrian School' on the Rise in U.S.A.
Nov. 11 (EIRNS)Introducing a review of a new book on the past 100 years of the Mises-Hayek school of economics (Austrian Economics in Transition, by Harald Hagemann; Macmillan Publishers), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: "America's Tea Party Movement has an important root in the Vienna coffee house. Most of the enraged citizens who presently fight with the Tea Party against too much state influence, do not seem to know that. Its main thinkers, especially the libertarian Congressman Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul, who has just been elected to the Senate, are, however, confessing 'Austrians' in the sense that they trace their radical free-market positions back to the great economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich August von Hayek. After TV moderator Glenn Beck a few weeks ago recommended Hayek's pamphlet, The Road to Serfdom of 1944, as an insider tip, it has become a best seller in American book stores once again."
One of Five French Youths Below Poverty Level
Nov. 9 (EIRNS)Close to a million 18-25 year-olds in France live below the poverty line, which is EU950 per month, according to Secours Catholique, part of the Church's Caritas International. This is a much larger proportion than in the older population: fully 21% of that age group is hit by poverty, as compared to 13% in the rest of the population. 11% of those who seek help from Secours Catholique are between 18 and 24 years old, and 7% of those served at the national network of soup kitchens "Restaurants du Coeur" are in that age range.
Youth unemployment in France has been above 18% for 30 years now, which is 7% higher on average than in other developed countries, said a May 2010 OECD report, which cites many reasons for this and not only the crisis. Among the other reasons mentioned, are the lack of a school diploma and the absence of schools that give youth a second chance at an education, if for any reason they were unable to graduate. It is no consolation for France that youth poverty in Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Ireland is worse.
Greens Plan 'Ecologization' of Berlin
Nov. 9 (EIRNS)Renate Künast was nominated as the Green mayoral candidate for the September 2011 elections for city-state parliament in Berlin on Nov. 6. Mainstream media propaganda and opinion polls (taken at the peak of the anti-nuclear riots in Gorbelen) give the Greens 30% of the Berlin vote, against 22% for the Social Democrats.
Künast's preliminary program includes the intent to plaster Berlin's rooftops with solar panels, and transform the municipal utility into a "Klima Stadtwerk" to provide citizens with electricity from renewables. She also promises to create 100,000 jobs in the "industry of the 21st Century," i.e., green economy, which is an agglomeration of alternative lifestyles and other such dangerous nonsense. Which brings to mind the notorious "scientist" at Swift's Lagado Academy, who collected farts until he had enough to make wind for his windmill.