Italy's New Prime Minister a Key Appointment in European Financial Crisis
With the Italian crisis that rocked the EU on November 9 and plummeted the Dow by 389 points, came the resignation of Italy's Silvio Berlusconi: the longest-serving post-war Prime Minister of Italy who served for three terms. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a New Europe. EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy gave a speech referring to the EU as a phoenix, which must continue on its path. EU Commission President Manuel Barroso stated that Europe is in a defining moment and must unify or risk fragmentation. These speeches summarized discussions and proposals that have been taking place within the EU Parliament and Commission since the onset of the Greek crisis when Fitch first downgraded Greece's credit rating in December of 2009.
With each stage of the crisis, the need for action has become more urgent and the proposals far-reaching. In now steps into Italy Mario Monti, an economist and former two term EU Commission official. In his first term he was responsible for "Internal Market, Financial Services and Financial Integration, Customs, and Taxation." In his next term he oversaw competition and initiated anti-monopoly proceedings against Microsoft. In December 2009, Monti became a member of the reflection group for the future of Europe. In this forum, he advocated an economic government for Europe and a European Monetary fund. In 2010, Monti was asked by Commission President Manuel Barroso to produce a "Report on the Future of the Single Market," proposing further measures towards the completion of the EU Single Market.
What is key is that in 2010 Monti helped found the Spinelli group. This crowd helps influence the EU to evolve along federalist lines, which is exactly the direction the New Europe is now heading. Guy Verhofstadt, President of the ALDE group of European Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament, former Belgium Prime Minister and leading federalist who issues proposals for a European Union modeled along the lines of the United States, formed the Spinelli group on September 15, 2010. Mario Monti is one of its founders. Alterio Spinelli is considered the EU's godfather. He founded the European Federalist Movement in Milan in 1943.
Conspiracy theorists' websites and blogs are igniting with the news that Monti is a member of the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission, but they miss the mark. Monti is a committed federalist, which means that Italy will now be a key player in the evolution of the New Europe that is rising from the ashes of Europe's financial crisis. Monti will direct Italy in step with federalist ideology and in line with its blueprint. Monti's appointment is a big win for the federalist movers and shakers. Their vision of the EU is one of a non-imperial empire with rules and regulations decided from Brussels similar to how Washington writes the rules for the U.S. Member nations will have no more power than U.S. states for the sake of being part of a powerful union.
Federalists argue that the financial crisis resulted from the pre-existing problems of the member nations and because the current EU does not have the power to regulate economic policy in those nations. While these changes are currently being made they have not been far-reaching enough for the federalists. This group also advocates the issuance of European Union wide bonds because they will act like U.S. treasuries by allowing the EU to borrow at lower interest rates to help reduce its debt.
With the appointment of Mario Monti, the EU will be well on its way to making the extensive changes along federalist lines for the new Europe. A major geopolitical shift is about to take place and as Mr. Van Rompuy pointed out, the EU phoenix will emerge. Mario Monti's appointment most likely is more strategic in this evolution than the news is reporting.