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Tremonti Compares Brussels to Roman Emperor Elagabalus’ Court

March 19, 2015 (EIRNS)—Former Italian Finance Minister and current Senator Giulio Tremonti took to the Senate floor yesterday, after a report by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and blasted the EU policy towards Greece. Looking at the current sufferings of the Greek population, not even Margaret Thatcher would dare to push for the EU reforms, he said, and compared Brussels to the court of Roman Emperor Elagabalus, one of the most degenerate of Roman emperors (r. 218-222 A.D.).

"The problem is not that Greece entered Europe, but that Europe entered Greece. The causes of the crisis are not, as someone says, related to the obscure and opaque Greek government budget, an almost negligible entity. The real Greek tragedy came from the private financial side, and starting with the euro. In a euphoric dimension starting in 2002, an enormous flow of capital was lent by European banks to Greek society, joyfully financing the Olympics, swimming pools and cars (the latter not exactly ’Made in Greece’) and various illusions. For a decade, merriment was bilateral, both among the debtors, and also the creditors, who were cashing huge flows of receivable interest. Fatally, the crisis came. See, on the basis of the law of market economy, if debtors fail, creditors fail, too. In the case of Greece, the opposite occurred. And thus, aid to Greece, including what we generously made, helped everybody and especially German and French creditor banks—everybody except the Greeks. After the European cure, Greek government debt rose and Greek GDP fell. And yet, in a compulsive way, Europe demands from Greece more privatization, more liberalization. Looking at the current conditions of the Greek people, not even Margaret Thatcher would ask for such measures!"

Basic European values, Tremonti said, are no longer

"those of our historic tradition," but they are rather those of a "pre-Christian and pagan past." "I want to be clear: Elagabalus, with his set of values and his lifestyle, would perfectly fit in the Luxembourg court."

According to historian B.G. Niebuhr,

"The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life."