Sir, if Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel survive and prosper at the polls, the intelligentsia have already identified their go-to fall guy: Italy — “the main source of political risk for the eurozone” (“Renzi nears party victory in Italy but faces sterner election test”, April 27). What about Brexit, the never-ending Greek crisis, and the failures of the fifth French republic? And what of Berlin’s counter-productive insistence on austerity economics, which hobbles continental growth and fans the flames of virulent populism? (It’s the aggregate demand, Mrs Merkel.)
Despite never having required nor requested an external bailout from the EU, the European Central Bank or the International Monetary Fund — unlike Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain — Italy has been routinely reviled as the eurozone’s weak link.
Italy is the EU’s third-largest economy and currently holds the presidency of the G7 group of industrialised powers. And when the G7 convenes this month in Taormina, Sicily, for its annual meeting, Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni should remind his partners — particularly US President Donald Trump — that the road to western unity runs through Rome.
For all its financial and economic flaws, the Magic Boot — the very homeland of capitalism, accounting and banking — remains the key to Europe’s long-term economic success, political stability and security. Whatever else may transpire in 2017, the premier should heed an ancient predecessor, Marcus Aurelius: “Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
Rosario A Iaconis
Mineola, NY, US
Chairman, The Italic Institute of America