Wednesday

26th Jan 2022

Northern League launch campaign to revive lira

The Italian Northern League party launched a campaign to revive the lira at an 85,000-strong rally of its supporters on Sunday (19 June)

The party, which holds minister posts in Silvio Berlusoni's government, called for a revival of the lira as a "parallel currency" to the euro, which would remain the currency of the state budget, tourism and foreign trade.

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Under Italian law, a referendum must be held if half a million signatures are collected.

Many economists have branded the idea "bizarre", but not Stanford professor Ronald McKinnon.

Speaking at a European Central Bank conference in Frankfurt he said there is some credence to the view that maybe Italy should be split off and have its own currency. "Even if we know it would all go wrong", he said according to the Telegraph.

In June, Italy became the first country to face disciplinary action under the EU's adjusted stability pact because of a ballooning budget deficit.

Berlusconi attacks euro

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi called the euro a "rip-off" that "screwed everybody" in a vitriolic attack on opposition leader Romano Prodi.

Covid variants put Schengen under pressure

The EU Commission also raised concerns about the proportionality of Belgium's ban on non-essential travel, for people wishing to leave the country.

Luxembourg tax scandal may prompt EU action

An investigation into Luxembourg's tax regime has uncovered how the Italian mafia, the Russian underworld, and billionaires attempt to stash away their wealth. The European Commission has put itself on standby amid suggestions changes to EU law may be needed.

Investigation

Portugal vs Germany clash on EU corporate tax avoidance

Portugal's taking over the EU presidency puts the tax transparency law for corporations - which has been fought over for years - to a vote in the Council of Ministers. The resistance of the German government has failed.

Opinion

Europe must plot its own course on China

Given China's size and interconnectedness with Europe, a strategic policy of non-engagement hardly deserves the label "strategic".

Vietnam jails journalist critical of EU trade deal

A journalist who had demanded the EU postpone its trade deal with Vietnam until human rights improved has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. The EU Commission says it first needs to conduct a detailed analysis before responding.

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