The failure of the Italian Left has left Italy dominated by the ‘free market’, just as a European Union commissioner said it would, according to Attilio Moro.
By Attilio Moro
Special to Consortium News
At the end of last month, European Commissioner Günther Oettinger scolded rebellious Italian voters who are fed up with European Union bureaucrats and European Central bankers dominating their country. “The market will teach Italians how to vote,” Oettingerm said.
He had made this remark when it seemed Italy was heading toward fresh elections after the latest political crisis. At the time the spread between Italian and German bonds jumped more than 300 points, aggravating Italy’s heavy public debt. In other words, Oettinger was convinced that the need for financial stability would force upstart Italian voters to get back in line with what the bankers want.
In the end, there was no new election as the Italian president backed down after first exercising his rarely used powers to reject a new coalition government of two populist parties who won the March election. He then tried to install an IMF bureaucrat as prime minister, rejecting the will of Italian voters, but was outmaneuvered by the coalition.
Oettinger, however, was still probably right: the market will most likely determine the future course of Italian politics. And that’s largely because of the collapse of the Italian Left.
Without a strong political party to represent a collective expression of public discontent with the neoliberal economics of the past decades, the market will inevitably remain the arbiter of any capitalist country. A nation with a very high public debt that has to obey EU rules designed in Brussels and Berlin will continue to experience a threat to its national sovereignty and democracy.
In the last 15 years the Italian Left and its most important party, the Partito Democratico (PD), has plainly ignored such threats, being viewed by voters as the executers of the “Brussels Diktat.”
Populists Fill the Void
Therefore, the so called ‘populist’ parties—the rightwing “Lega” and the Five…