Saturday

21st Apr 2018

Berlusconi: euro is a 'swindle' and Germany wants 'hegemony'

  • Once good friends: Berlusconi (l) and Libya's late dictator Gaddafi (Photo: Roberto Gimmi)

Italy's derided and populist ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi is trying to make a comeback ahead of general elections due in spring 2013.

Speaking at a book presentation event in Rome on Thursday (27 September), he called the euro a "big swindle" and said that it would be no "tragedy" if Germany - which has displayed "hegemony, not solidarity" in the crisis - left the common currency.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He also criticised the eurozone bailout fund, the ESM, which was ratified by Berlin the same day.

Belrusconi said that it only contributes to the vicious circle of recession and debt: "To receive aid you have to sign a memorandum with austerity measures, which bring the economy to collapse and into a recessionary spiral."

The 75-year old politician has not said for sure if he will stand for election next year.

He was forced to resign in November 2011 amid a long series of sex scandals, as well as broken promises to fellow eurozone leaders that he would fix the country's economy.

Meanwhile, his successor, Mario Monti, an economist and a former EU commissioner with no political affiliation, has indicated he might stay on as PM next year.

"I hope there will be a clear result [in the elections], with a clear possibility for whatever majority to be formed and for a government led by a political leader," he said at a briefing in the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank in New York also on Thursday.

He added: "Should there be circumstances in which they were to believe that I could serve helpfully after that period of elections, I will be there. I will consider it. I cannot preclude anything."

Italian businessmen and EU officials would like to see Monti stay on.

But his political support is dwindling after he put in place tax increases and pension cuts designed to get in line with EU debt limits.

For its part, some people in the Italian do not like the idea of an unelected technocrat continuing to run the country.

"He should run for office like in a normal democracy and put an end to short cuts that mean he only represents himself and his friends," said Felice Belisario of the opposition People of Values party.

The 69-year old Monti was appointed senator for life last year and does not need to be elected on any party list in order to become Prime Minister again.

Analysis

New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability

The EU's latest funding rules for European political parties and their think tanks fails to address the underlying problems of abuse. Instead of tackling the loans and donations culture, it has simply made access to EU funds a lot easier.

MEPs set limits to Macron's ambitions

The French president tried to woo the European Parliament but found that his quest for leadership will have to abide by the rules set by the European political groups.

Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on a political deal on organic farming, following 19 months of behind-closed-doors negotiations. EUobserver here details a five-month odyssey to get access to the secret documents that led to the deal.

News in Brief

  1. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  2. MEPs urge better protection for journalists
  3. Dieselgate: MEPs back greater role for EU in car approvals
  4. European parliament adopts new organic farming rules
  5. EU granted protection to half million people in 2017
  6. Report: Facebook to carve 1.5bn users out of EU privacy law
  7. Greek court ruling permits migrants to travel to mainland
  8. Commonwealth summit hopes for trade boost after Brexit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  2. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  3. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  4. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  5. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  6. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  7. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  10. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  11. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia

Latest News

  1. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  2. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  3. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes
  4. Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform
  5. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  6. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
  7. Draghi to stay in secretive 'lobby' group
  8. Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists