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Written Submission to Schiller Institute Conference in Germany

The Welfare State and the Real Economy in Italy After One Year of the Monti Government

A People's View of National and EU Policy

by Lorella Presotto,
Confederazione Civica Nazionale, Italy

November 2012

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Nineteen years after the establishment of the European Union, with the introduction of the subsequent Treaties, and also the abrogation of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 (which from 1933 to that date had protected all states from financial speculation), the scenario at the European level is, to say the least, disastrous.

Italy has seen its democracy and liberty taken away, against its will.

First, with the signing of the Treaties. In fact, articles 10 and 11 of the Italian Constitution allow limits to be placed on sovereignty only for purposes of peace, while there is no possibility of "transfer of sovereignty."

It follows that the signing of all of the treaties of the European Union should have been subjected to popular referenda, and thus the signing of those Treaties represents an illegitimate act by a political class that betrayed its people and their mandate.

All of this took place with the complete silence of the media and the press, accomplices of a political ruling class that lacks any moral scruples or love for its country.

The elections of 2008, which were very difficult for the country, saw the victory of the center-right bloc, whose leader Silvio Berlusconi formed the government that was to lead the country for the five-year period from 2008 to 2013.

Berlusconi's biggest mistake, in my view, was that he didn't tell the Italians the truth about what actually took place: the signing by the previous center-left governments of the binding Treaties of the European Union.

I think that the Prime Minister made the grave mistake of underestimating his political adversaries, and above all of underestimating the power wielded by the leaders of Europe.

The Berlusconi government was born under an unlucky star, and the financial crisis that began in the United States hit Europe and Italy like a storm, starting in the initial months of the new government's term.

The continuous, unstoppable advance of the crisis created harsh conflicts in civil society and in the Parliament, between the two political poles.

In the meantime, the country's real economy was in serious danger. It was at that point in time that the small and medium-sized enterprises began to suffer greatly, and many closed down.

This was also due to the fact that the banks provided less and less credit in the market.

In particular, between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2011, the weight of the economic crisis was felt. The closure of many companies wiped out numerous jobs, impoverishing a large sector of the population.

Although social shock absorbers were implemented, this was not sufficient to stop the Italian recession, which appeared in its harshest form at the beginning of 2011.

The strong position of Angela Merkel and some of her allies, in favor of a strict budget policy, led to various clashes with the heads of government of other countries, including Italy.

The fact is that at a certain point the European Union imposed the replacement of the democratically-elected Berlusconi government with the technocratic government of Mario Monti, appointed by the oligarchy.

Italian public opinion had been stunned in the previous months by a series of carefully manipulated actions and responses from the markets, and thus it welcomed the Monti Government as "the solution to the problem."

This perverse mechanism of "inducement" leads us to an initial, troubling reflection: a continent that came out of two World Wars, that had succeeded in establishing constitutional democracies, saw its democratic rights and basic laws violated in various forms....

What is worse, is that these choices, that were entirely arbitrary, were driven by deceit, behind the backs of the European populations.

No man or woman of this continent, since the Maastricht Treaty, has EVER had the right to make a choice.

Everything has always been decided artificially, by a high-level power with the complicity of the ruling class, that acts simply as the servants of financial interests and multinational corporations, who have decided to enrich themselves to the detriment of the European populations, robbing them of all of their wealth.

Coming back to the Italian situation specifically, from the beginning of its oligarchical mandate, the Monti Government began to raise taxes and cut spending in all primary

What is certain, and this is a fact, not abstract conjecture, is that today my country, Italy, is currently experiencing the darkest season of its life; not even the period of reconstruction after World War II can be compared to the social and economic disaster that today darkens my beloved land.

The welfare state is being dismantled: funds for disabilities and people who are self-sufficient have been cut; hospitals, beds, health and social services. In some schools students will attend school in freezing rooms, without heat, because their school is unable to pay electricity costs. In the name of the "necessary deregulation" to cover debts, created on purpose by criminal international speculation, all of the public goods that our forefathers had left to us have been almost entirely sold off.

Essential services, drinking water and electricity are affected by unsustainable costs, that an increasing number of families can no longer pay.

Procedures for evictions and payment orders flood all of the civil courts. Many families live in cars, or makeshift lodgings. The segment of the population that is poor, indigent, has reached the historical level of almost four million people. Taxation has reached the highest level in the world, and the Tax Offices, the armed wing of the Monti Government, seizes everything it can even from pensioners and families without income, thus increasing the number of the homeless exponentially.

In just 2012 the number of Italians who were forced to eat free meals at the cafeterias run by the Caritas association or other volunteer groups increased by 9%. (source: Coldiretti analysis)

To be precise, there are 3,686,942 Italians who must get food through non-profit organizations.

In 2010 the figure was 2.7 million; in 2011, 3.3 million; and in 2012, now almost 3.7 million (analysis conducted in collaboration with AGEA - the Agency for Agriculture Disbursements).

According to the Coldiretti agriculture producers association, one out of four Italian families has economic difficulties, an increase of 3% over last year, 48% of Italians think that their situation is going to get worse. 51% of families say that they are only able to cover their expenses, without any additional luxuries; 8% of families do not even have an income to cover what is indispensable.

In addition to a welfare state that has been eliminated, and is inhuman, we see an economy on its knees, which lacks the oxygen of liquidity and credit.

The abrogation of the Glass-Steagall Act, and the legislative obligation created by the European Union to be listed on the stock market, has made all of our commercial banks the prey of the speculative lobby. Once on the market, they are exposed to the raids of ruthless speculators, who acquire controlling interests and have forced them to change their activities, making them subtract more and more credit from the real economy, from enterprises and families.

Without access to credit, small and medium-sized enterprises, the heart of the Italian real economy, have closed their doors one by one, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in a few years.

The food and agriculture sector has not been different.

Agriculture was our leading sector, our pride, our sense of belonging, handed down to us from our Roman ancestors.

The European Union has forced us to accept specific rules on production, our farmers have to throw products away because they are prohibited from putting more than a certain limit onto the market; a limit established by the European oligarchy.

We Italians accepted these harsh rules, thinking they were necessary to build a union of peoples. But now the goal is clear: to rid the Italian market of the small, high-quality producers and make room for the multinational corporations who have invaded us with GMOs, products that are often made with low quality ingredients, that sometimes are even toxic for human health.

Bring back poverty, hunger and desperation. In order to have low-cost labor always available.

Produce diseases, because in turn, the multinational companies - the pharmaceuticals, for example - can distribute their products more broadly.

The goal is always the same: enrich the 1% of the global population to the detriment of the other 99%.

It is a complex situation, with a thousand facets, that requires many national and international players to be effective.

A pyramid of power built up consciously by the financial lobby, with its base consisting of the current European political system.

Mario Monti, Angela Merkel, and all of their European colleagues, are pawns controlled by a power that manipulates and violates all of the equilibria of life and society.

Through the manipulation of media and the press, and the use of clichés, they are trying to set one people against another, and even to create internecine battles within each people.

Angela Merkel is very good at this. She is able to make the peoples of southern Europe - Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal - appear as bearers of disasters that harm the peoples of northern Europe and Germany.

In this manner the German people believe that that the Latin populations of Europe are lazy and wasteful, and create debt.

This is not true at all. It is a stratagem, and the use of trickery carried out to fragment the strength of the European peoples, who together strike fear in those who wish to keep their power at all costs.

Some months ago, Christine Lagarde said: "I don't care if Greek children are going hungry, their parents have to pay their taxes!"

Greece, the cradle of civilization, of democracy, that gave birth to Socrates and Aristotle, reduced to misery by imbalances created on purpose by legal monstrosities such as the Lisbon Treaty and the ESM !!

Fathers and mothers in Greece are now forced to leave their children in orphanages, because they can no longer support them.

The same plan is being attempted in Italy, Spain and Portugal, with the consent of the public opinion of Germany and the other peoples of northern Europe.

We want to tell the peoples of northern Europe that "Angela Merkel is deceiving you! She herself is working for the plan that will not stop with the so-called PIGS countries, but be implemented in Germany as well, and in all the other countries of northern Europe."

We Italians understand this; and although we detest Angela Merkel with all our strength, we still cherish the dream of seeing a true union of peoples, based on solidarity, brotherhood, the wealth of diverse cultures, the centrality of the human being, as a single species.

I am a woman like many others, I have a family and a profession. Until now I never thought I would have to join the Agora of politics.

My sense of civic duty and responsibility towards future generations, the suffering I see around me, the arrogance and abuse by a European ruling class that acts on a common denominator that harms my people - which is not only the Italian people, because I feel European - have not allowed me to turn my attention elsewhere.

Many new political movements and non-party electoral lists have sprouted up in Italy, and for these new popular forces, right and left no longer exist, human beings exist, along with a State that is seen as an aggregate of a people, a body with shared rules that recognizes all of those rights that the doctrine of natural law defines as "unfailing and unavoidable."

I. have made myself available, with all of my knowledge, and with many other good-willed people I have begun moving forward on this path, which I feel is right.

I am aware of how difficult it will be, of the many obstacles we will all meet. because power, that at the top of the pyramid, doesn't want people to progress, doesn't want liberty and well-being for them. Power wants only one thing: dividi et impera, divide and conquer. It will unleash its best servants, muddy the waters, fish in troubled waters in order to re-establish feudal power.

It is no secret that the current Italian political class, of any persuasion (right, left or center) is trying to pass a reform of the electoral system, to raise the threshold of votes to enter the Parliament and also increase the majority premium. This despite the prohibition that exists in national and European laws. The law is not equal for all.

They know well that the Italian people wants to reclaim its sovereignty, and have decided to dethrone them all; none of them have been loyal to the social compact; and thus, they are thinking up some system to win the election by any means, in order to maintain their privileges.

Privileges that cost the Italian people blood, sweat and tears. Italian parliamentarians have the highest salaries in the world (despite the fact that they have been asked to lower their pay many times by representatives of the people). At the end of only one term they have the right to a pension, of several thousand Euros a month, while from on high they continue to raise the retirement age for normal people, even those who work in difficult manual jobs.

They have taken over the legislative system which they use for their own personal benefit, they are the legislators of themselves. They appoint the members of the Supreme Court of Cassation, the Auditors Court and the Constitutional Court.

A continuous exercise of abuse of law, constitutional illegitimacy, the mandate of popular representation, for which they feel no shame whatsoever.


So. we are in a war. A subtle, invisible, almost intangible war, that is not fought with armies in the streets, but by much more sophisticated means, finance, that with its tentacles has by now reached every segment of social and political life, both nationally and internationally.

A weapon able to trigger widespread extermination. Poverty, fear, the constant need to simply survive, finish the job.


Today, here, I want to call on all of you, who represent your countries; and in particular the representatives of the countries of Europe: we must embrace a single political philosophy, cancel all of the treaties of THIS European Union, create national banks; restore the separation between commercial banks and speculative investment banks in the private sector.

Restoring the Glass-Steagall Act as proposed by Mr. LaRouche and Movisol, can no longer be delayed. Mr. LaRouche's campaign has reached Italy as well, where three bills have been introduced in the Parliament.

Commercial banks are necessary for the economic system of a country, but if we don't succeed in separating them from speculative investment banks, all of the real economies will die.

We must sit around a table and conceive a TRUE EUROPEAN UNION OF PEOPLES, drive out the servants of the financial lobby and the multinational corporations; free our lands, our peoples from this oligarchy which has oppressed us for too long, and that by now has also spread in the European and national institutions.

We must reconstruct those values of peace, liberty and democracy that are dear to us all; defend them, never again allow the repeat of the abominations we are currently seeing.

Only then will there be a future for us and the coming generations.