Never underestimate Italian durability (Financial Times) – Rosario A. Iaconis

https://www.ft.com/content/b08227b2-5f4f-11e8-9334-2218e7146b04

From Rosario A Iaconis, Chairman, The Italic Institute of America

May 28, 2018     

Following the formulation of a populist Italian government, many predict the demise of the Magic Boot. Martin Wolf envisions a run on Italian debt and banks, along with the withdrawal of European Central Bank support, culminating in an Italy that “would effectively fall out of the eurozone” (Opinion, May 22). In truth, jittery bond markets do not a government, or a polity, make. And that is especially true of the eurozone’s third-largest economy.

Giuseppe Conte’s appointment as Italy’s prime minister should elicit huzzahs, not jeers. Having taught public administration law and European contract and banking law, Mr Conte is well equipped to contend with the intricacies of the Maastricht treaty and the fecklessness of the financial markets. He is also a bit of an authority on slimming down bloated government bureaucracies.

And having worked with such Vatican power brokers as Cardinal Achille Silvestrini and Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, he should have no problem confronting Germany, which has been a thorn in Italy’s side ever since the 2008 financial crisis.

Whatever may transpire during Mr Conte’s tenure, one should never underestimate the durability of Alma Mater Italia. As George Steiner noted: “For better or worse, Italy has, under a legion of governments actually run by a handful of exceedingly adroit and cynical politicians, been one of the stablest societies in the west. And, it may be, the most humane.”

Rosario A Iaconis
Chairman, The Italic Institute of America
Suffolk County Community College, Mineola, NY, US

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