Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Matteo Salvini’s improbable dream of a pan-European nationalist alliance

Posted by hkarner - 13. April 2019

Date: 12-04-2019
Source: The Economist

Nationalists tend not to agree with each other

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An italian nationalist joining forces with a German one to promise “a new European dream”, as Matteo Salvini termed it, is bound to stir the odd qualm. But oblivious, or indifferent, to historical echoes, Mr Salvini, the leader of Italy’s Northern League, on April 8th sat cheerfully alongside Jörg Meuthen of the Alternative for Germany (afd) on a platform in Milan as he announced the formation of a new, nativist bloc in the next European Parliament. Mr Meuthen said it would be called the European Alliance for People and Nations. And, said Mr Salvini, the aim was “to take in groups with which we have never collaborated before”.

Gail McElroy, a political scientist at Trinity College, Dublin, who has made a study of the European Parliament, said it was likely that the radical right will make some gains at the European elections on May 23rd-26th. “But there is a long history of populist parties forming groups that then fall apart.” Ominously for Mr Salvini, none of the party leaders he had hoped to attract to his new band bothered to show up in Milan.

Movements created to protect national interests and exalt national identities tend to make awkward bedfellows, after all. Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s government in Poland and Viktor Orban’s in Hungary have long turned a deaf ear to Italy’s pleas for a redistribution within the eu of asylum-seekers arriving from Africa. That problem has now been skirted: the new mantra of the populist right is that the answer is to seal Europe’s frontiers. But agreeing on economic policy will be more difficult. The afd and other hard-right northern European groups support precisely the kind of fiscal austerity Mr Salvini claims is holding back the Italian economy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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IWF mahnt Italien zur Haushaltssanierung

Posted by hkarner - 13. April 2019

12. April 2019, 16:59 derstandard.at

Internationaler Währungsfonds fordert Maßnahmenpaket

Washington – Der Internationale Währungsfonds (IWF) mahnt das hoch verschuldete Italien zur schrittweisen Sanierung seiner Staatsfinanzen. Dafür sei ein auf mittlere Sicht angelegtes Maßnahmenpaket „von entscheidender Bedeutung“, sagte der für Europa zuständige IWF-Bereichsleiter Poul Thomsen am Freitag in Washington. Neben der niedrigen Produktivität gelte es für das Land, auch die hohe strukturelle Arbeitslosigkeit anzugehen. EZB-Präsident Mario Draghi hat die Regierung in Rom ebenfalls aufgefordert, mehr zu tun, um „Wachstum und Beschäftigung zu schaffen“. Italien steckt in einer Rezession und ächzt unter einem Schuldenberg, der mehr als 130 Prozent der jährlichen Wirtschaftsleistung ausmacht.

Streit mit EU-Kommission vorprogrammiert

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Italy Warns of Bigger Budget Deficit

Posted by hkarner - 11. April 2019

Did anybody expect something different? Except the EU Commission! (hfk)

Date: 10-04-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Finance Ministry forecasts a 2.4% gap, wider than the 2% agreed upon with the European Union in December

ROME—Italy’s populist government conceded it won’t hit the budget-deficit target agreed on with European Union authorities, setting the stage for renewed tensions with Brussels.

Italy’s finance ministry on Tuesday said this year’s deficit will be 2.4% of gross domestic product, rather than 2% as agreed with the EU in December after tense negotiations that rattled financial markets.

The Italian government also cut its 2019 economic-growth forecast to 0.2%, including a boost from its latest fiscal proposals, compared with an earlier forecast of 1%.

Some private-sector economists have predicted an even worse year. Italy’s economy has been in recession since late 2018, because of the combined effects of Europe’s growth slowdown, global trade tensions and Italy’s financial tensions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Italy’s Populists Covet Central Bank and Its Gold

Posted by hkarner - 4. April 2019

Date: 03-04-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Blaming the institution for the woes of ordinary Italians, lawmakers pursue a takeover

Some Italian politicians want to force the bank’s shareholders, mostly private banks, to sell their shares to the treasury.

ROME—Italy’s ruling populists pushed ahead this week with efforts to seize control of the central bank and its gold reserves, stepping up their confrontation with a symbol of the country’s establishment.

With two laws targeting the Bank of Italy under debate in parliament, the campaign is the latest attack on Italy’s independent institutions by leaders of the governing coalition, which is led by the antiestablishment 5 Star Movement and the nativist League.

The parties depict the central bank as a symbol of a technocratic elite aloof from the needs of ordinary Italians. Hundreds of thousands of small individual investors lost billions of dollars after several Italian banks failed in recent years, causing widespread anger against the Bank of Italy and previous governments. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe Must Unite on China

Posted by hkarner - 28. März 2019

Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister, is President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) in the European Parliament and the author of Europe’s Last Chance: Why the European States Must Form a More Perfect Union.

The Italian government’s decision to endorse China’s „Belt and Road Initiative“ is antithetical to European and Italian interests alike, and plays directly into Chinese President Xi Jinping’s hands. While the European Union should pursue a closer relationship with China, it must do so as a single bloc – and thus on a co-equal footing.

BRUSSELS – When seeking investment capital and seemingly lucrative commercial deals, EU member-state governments do not always consider shared European interests. This has especially been the case with respect to China. Yet member states that pursue a relationship with China unilaterally endanger both themselves and the rest of Europe.

True, attempts to define a common EU position toward China have so far been limited. Distracted by the endless Brexit saga and the threats , EU leaders have found scant time to discuss many other important issues. Still, in anticipation of an upcoming EU-China summit on April 9, EU leaders did explore common approaches to China at a meeting this month in Brussels, where they highlighted the risks of the Italian government’s Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The difference between Italy and Spain

Posted by hkarner - 23. März 2019

Date: 22-03-2019
Source: The Economist: Charlemagne
Subject:Worry more about the former than the latter

It is tempting to lump Europe’s two big southern countries together. Italians and Spaniards talk loudly, eat late, drive fast and slurp down life-prolonging quantities of tomatoes and olive oil (such, at least, are the clichés). They were cradles of European anarchism in the 19th century and fascism in the 20th century; brushing dictatorship under the carpet before embracing Europe in the post-war years. During the euro-zone crisis from 2009 they were two components of the ugly acronym “pigs” (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) denoting particularly indebted economies. Today once more they are being mentioned in the same breath.

Italian volatility appears to be arriving on the Iberian peninsula. Spain’s once boringly bi-party politics has become a five-party kaleidoscope with the emergence of the hard-left Podemos, the centre-right Ciudadanos and most recently the hard-right Vox. It is increasingly polarised by battles over Catalan independence. Last summer Pedro Sánchez’s centre-left Socialists (psoe), backed by Catalan nationalists, toppled a centre-right People’s Party (pp) government. But the Catalans refused to back the new government’s budget, forcing Mr Sánchez to call an election for April 28th. A right-wing coalition of pp, Ciudadanos and Vox (which would surely inflame Catalan nationalism) or a deadlock and new elections are the most likely outcomes. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Italy’s BRI Blunder

Posted by hkarner - 22. März 2019

Lucrezia Poggetti

Lucrezia Poggetti is a research associate at the Mercator Institute for China Studies.

Although Italy’s governing parties are belatedly debating the wisdom of signing onto Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, it is already too late for Italy to change course. Having spurned joint EU efforts to secure Europe’s strategic sectors, Italy will soon find that it got a raw deal.

BERLIN – Barring any sudden reversals, Italy will formally endorse China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rome this week. Though US President Donald Trump’s administration recently signaled its disapproval of Italy’s engagement with China’s massive transnational infrastructure investment scheme, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed on March 15 that the government will proceed with signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The MoU will come at a high political cost for Italy, while offering only limited economic benefits. Nonetheless, it has been in the pipeline for quite some time. Italian Undersecretary of State for Economic Development Michele Geraci, the head of the Ministry of Economic Development’s “China Task Force,” has made formal endorsement of the BRI his pet project. And Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio has publicly committed to signing the document. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Italy’s plan to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative ruffles feathers

Posted by hkarner - 22. März 2019

Date: 21-03-2019
Source: The Economist

At home and abroad

CHINA’S PRESIDENT, Xi Jinping, is due to land in Rome on March 21st.

His itinerary will include a state dinner, accompanied by a performance by Andrea Bocelli, an Italian opera star. Even more enjoyable for Mr Xi will be welcoming Italy into his “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), a programme of infrastructure projects that spans Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa. Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, hopes the planned agreement, due to be signed on March 23rd, will boost Italian exports to China. But the accord has caused consternation both within his government and among Italy’s traditional allies.

The BRI is China’s project to create a modern-day Silk Road, the ancient network of trade routes which connected east and west. Billions of dollars have been invested since it was launched in 2013 across more than 60 countries, in disparate infrastructure projects including railways, roads and ports. Some estimates of the total investment over the coming years run to $1trn or more. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Klammes Italien sucht in China Geld für Infrastrukturprojekte

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2019

15. März 2019, 17:39 derstandard.at

Rom will am Megaprojekt „neue Seidenstraße“ mitnaschen, aller Kritik aus der EU und aus den USA zum Trotz

Rom/Peking – Italien werde mit der angekündigten Kooperation bei der „neuen Seidenstraße“ weder zu einer „Kolonie Chinas“ noch zu einem „Brückenkopf“ für chinesische Handelsinteressen in Europa, versicherte Italiens Premier in kürzlich. Und schon gar nicht werde durch die italienische Beteiligung an dem gigantischen chinesischen Infrastrukturprojekt die Verankerung Italiens in der Nato in Frage gestellt: „Die atlantische Allianz bleibt eine tragende Säule unserer Außenpolitik“, versicherte Conte.

Die Beschwichtigungen des italienischen Regierungschefs kommen nicht von ungefähr: Die Regierung von Conte will am 22. März, wenn der chinesische Präsidenten Xi Jinping in Rom zum Staatsbesuch erwartet wird, eine Vereinbarung zur neuen Seidenstraße unterzeichnen. Dies hat vor allem in Washington harsche Kritik ausgelöst: China wolle mit der neuen Seidenstraße seinen Machtbereich ausweiten; falls Rom da mitmache, stelle es seine „internationale Reputation“ und die italienisch-amerikanische Freundschaft aufs Spiel, erklärte Garrett Marquis, Sprecher des Nationalen Sicherheitsrats in Washington.

USA drohen

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Ökonomen: Italien braucht Reformen für sich, nicht für Eurozone

Posted by hkarner - 7. März 2019

Leopold Stefan, 6. März 2019, 14:20 derstandard.at

Kann Italien den Euro sprengen? Oder sichert der aktuelle Reformkurs die Währungsunion ab? Eine Diskussionsrunde über Schicksals- und Haftungsfragen

Wir sind zum Euro verdammt. So fasst der Ökonom Christian Keuschnigg die Lage zusammen, als am Dienstag in Wien bei einer Veranstaltung des Club 20 und des STANDARD über die Zukunft der gemeinsamen Währung diskutiert wurde. Ein Scheitern der Eurozone könnte erhebliche wirtschaftliche Schäden anrichten. „Dann kann ich mir auch den Bestand der EU nicht mehr vorstellen“, warnt der Ökonom. Die jüngste Krise habe Schwachstellen offengelegt. „Kein Land illustriert die Fehlentwicklung so sehr wie Italien.“ Doch die strukturellen Probleme des Landes – die Staatsschuld macht über 130 Prozent des Bruttoinlandprodukts aus – müsste die Regierung in erster Linie durch eine neue politischen Kommunikation angehen: Nicht „wir gegen Zwangsreformer in Brüssel“ sollte die Devise in Rom lauten, sondern „Wir reformieren für die Zukunft unserer Kinder“.

Harte Währung braucht Weile

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