Friday, October 12, 2012

Berlusconi ally: German banks created Europe's debt crisis

The Irish Independent ran an article in which an ally of former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi said that the German banks created Europe's debt crisis and that austerity was making the Italian recession worse.
GERMAN banks created Europe's debt crisis and the cuts demanded of Italy are driving the economy deeper intorecession, the economic chief of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's party said on Friday. 
Renato Brunetta, a leading voice on Italy's centre-right, also said an exit from the euro could not be ruled out if Rome were forced to remain on its rigid diet of budget austerity - a line often taken by Berlusconi and his allies but one on which they have shown no sign of acting....
Brunetta, who left office when Berlusconi fell at the height of the crisis last November, accused Monti - a technocrat appointed to run Italy until the polls - of pushing austerity to excess and strangling an already feeble economy, which the government expects to contract by 2.4 percent this year. 
"It doesn't even convince the markets," he told Reuters in his office in Berlusconi's Rome headquarters. "It's like those old diet ads. If I tell you I'm going to lose seven kilos in seven days, it's not credible, it leads to collapse."...
Brunetta had harsh words for policy decided at the euro zone level and although he denied being a eurosceptic, he said an exit from the euro could not be ruled out. 
"Who says it's impossible to leave the euro? There is an enormous amount of literature that says it's possible," he said....

"My thesis is that the crisis is a crisis in the euro, produced by German banks," he said, arguing that the euro zone was paying for their excessive exposure to high yielding paper. 
"I would like to see an investigation into the German banks," Brunetta said.... 
Brunetta's comments echo a long running argument over the relative responsibility in the crisis of the strained public finances of southern Europe or the bloated surpluses of the prosperous northern countries, especially Germany. 
"It's this Calvinist analysis. If you're poor, it's your fault, if you're rich, it's because God loves you," he said.
Interesting on a day when the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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