23rd Mar 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.


Selmayr case symptomatic, says EU novel author

The controversy over the new EU Commission top civil servant is revealing of what is wrong with EU institutions and how they are blocked by national governments, says award-winning Austrian novelist Robert Menasse.


The populists may have won, but Italy won't leave the euro

The situation as Rome tries to form a government is turbulent and unpredictable. However, the most extreme eurosceptic policies floated during the election campaign are unlikely to happen - not least due to the precarious state of the Italian banks.


Why has central Europe turned so eurosceptic?

Faced with poorer infrastructure, dual food standards and what can seem like hectoring from western Europe it is not surprising some central and eastern European member states are rebelling.

News in Brief

  1. EU wants 'Paris' climate strategy within 13 months
  2. Workload of EU court remains high
  3. Spain's supreme court charges Catalan separatist leaders
  4. EU calls for 'permanent' exemption from US tariffs
  5. Summit backs guidelines for future EU-UK talks
  6. Macron support drops as public sector workers go on strike
  7. EU leaders condemn Turkey for illegal actions in Aegean Sea
  8. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. Europe needs corporate tax reform - a digital tax isn't it
  2. EU data chiefs rally behind UK over Cambridge Analytica
  3. Russian diplomats risk EU expulsions over UK attack
  4. Three presidents should attend Bosnia memorial
  5. Trump keeps EU leaders waiting on tariffs
  6. EU summit takes hard look at Russia
  7. Germany casts doubt on Austrian intelligence sharing
  8. EU leaders set for 'stormy debate' on digital tax at summit