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Italian Parliament Adopts
LaRouche Resolution
for a New Bretton Woods

April 7, 2005

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In an historic action, the Italian Chamber of Deputies (the lower House of Parliament), has approved a motion calling on the government to promote "an international conference at the level of Heads of State and Government, to globally define a new and more just monetary and financial system."

The motion, adopted on April 6, 2005, had been drafted by Paolo Raimondi, representative of the LaRouche movement in Italy, together with Rep. Mario Lettieri, who introduced it originally together with fifty colleagues of almost all political parties. It is a faithful representation of both the analyses and proposals put forward by American economist and political leader Lyndon LaRouche, to whom legislators supporting the motion repeatedly referred as the initiator of the campaign "for a new Bretton Woods," during the Parliamentary debate.

The vote on the Lettieri motion came after a fierce battle, during which a government attempt to emasculate the motion was successfully rejected. At the beginning of the resumption of debate, after a two-week recess, the government representative, Undersecretary for Parliament Affairs Cosimo Ventucci, intervened by proposing to take five lines out of the text, which would have fully eliminated the part which calls on the government to take action to convoke an international conference to reform the international monetary and financial system.

Ventucci's attempt was rejected by a broad array of legislators, including the opposition, but also from the government coalition. In particular, representative Alfonso Gianni, from the opposition party Rifondazione Comunista (PRC), and Luigi D'Agrò, from the government party Christian Democratic Union (UDC), led the pro-LaRouche and anti-globalization forces to defeat the government attempt. Remarkably, both Rep. Lettieri and others who intervened in the discussion, referred to the recently-deceased Pope as the moral leadership on issues of economic justice.

After Ventucci presented the government proposal to change the motion, Rep. Gianni took the floor, rejecting the proposed changes with the argument that the substance of the motion would completely change. "The kernel of this motion is in the fact that we must 'remake Bretton Woods,' that is, remaking an international conference, at the level of Heads of State and Government, to reach an agreement on the financial and monetary system," Gianni said. "This is the 'heart' of the motion: If we erase, as the government cunningly does, this part of the motion, there is absolutely nothing left!"

"The date that all historians of world economic history indicate as the beginning of modern globalization, the era we live in, is exactly the era referring to the end of the Bretton Woods agreements and of the dollar convertibility in gold." Therefore, Gianni continued, "the heart of this motion, which I know well — and I know the source where it comes from — that is American leftwing Democratic circles — is exactly this. Either we build the international conference reproducing those rules ... or we have achieved nothing!" Gianni then announced he would withdraw his support if the text was changed according to the government suggestions; his forceful intervention turned the situation around.

In the face of this steadfast support of the call for an international conference, the government withdrew its objection. Rep. Marco Zacchera, a foreign policy spokesman for Alleanza Nazionale (AN), a government party, welcomed the government's decision and the bipartisan consensus which had been achieved. "We have honored the Pope today," Zacchera said. "How often did the Pope say that world government leaders must meet and discuss these issues!"

When the motion was put to a vote, it was approved with 187 yes, 5 no, and 159 abstentions. Now, the government, according to the constitutional rules governing Italy's Parliamentary democracy, is bound to obey the Parliament's resolution. Although this is never automatic, but is subject to political dynamics, the April 6 vote is just the "first step," as several legislators stressed, in a process of discussion and deliberations on the international financial and economic system, which will continue in Parliamentary committees in the coming weeks.

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Principles of The
Treaty of Westphalia

The Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, bringing an end to the Thirty Years' War, which had drowned Europe in blood in battles over religion, defined the principles of sovereignty and equality in numerous sub-contracts, and in this way became the constitution of the new system of states in Europe.

We quote the two key principles:

Article I begins:

"A Christian general and permanent peace, and true and honest friendship, must rule between the Holy Imperial Majesty and the Holy All-Christian Majesty, as well as between all and every ally and follower of the mentioned Imperial Majesty, the House of Austria ... and successors.... And this Peace must be so honest and seriously guarded and nourished that each part furthers the advantage, honor, and benefit of the other.... A faithful neighborliness should be renewed and flourish for peace and friendship, and flourish again."

Peace among sovereign nations requires, in other words, according to this principle, that each nation develops itself fully, and regards it as its self-interest to develop the others fully, and vice versa—a real "family of nations."

Article II says:

"On both sides, all should be forever forgotten and forgiven—what has from the beginning of the unrest, no matter how or where, from one side or the other, happened in terms of hostility—so that neither because of that, nor for any other reason or pretext, should anyone commit, or allow to happen, any hostility, unfriendliness, difficulty, or obstacle in respect to persons, their status, goods, or security itself, or through others, secretly or openly, directly or indirectly, under the pretense of the authority of the law, or by way of violence within the Kingdom, or anywhere outside of it, and any earlier contradictory treaties should not stand against this.

"Instead, [the fact that] each and every one, from one side and the other, both before and during the war, committed insults, violent acts, hostilities, damages, and injuries, without regard of persons or outcomes, should be completely put aside, so that everything, whatever one could demand from another under his name, will be forgotten to eternity."

Link to Complete Treaty of Westphalia


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