EU Ship of State heads for the rocks, captain urges full steam ahead
By Richard Cottrell
Contributing writer for End the Lie
Italy’s legendary bunga-bunga premier Silvio Berlusconi is back with a bounce. Consigned by nearly all mainstream media commentators to the great political beyond, he is now about to pull the plug on the US/Bilderberg techno-government in charge of the country since last fall.
If he does rat on the smug Mario Monti and his fellow technocrats, then the scene is set for new elections next year which may well provoke the break of the entire European ice flow.
You don’t have to like, still less admire Berlusconi in order to stand back in admiration at his political savvy. He is the one who said there was no crisis of any gravity over Italy’s public debt in the first place. Now he’s spotted an avenue not only for his own political resurrection but payback for those who humiliated him out of the premiership. First in the line is Angela Merkel.
Deploying his numerous political skills, Berlusconi has sensed a new political avenue opening to the Right. He is willing to sacrifice his present creature of convenience, the PDL ‘House of Freedoms’ to jumpstart a new force which will then mop up the votes of the Partito Democratico (socialists, ex-communists) leaving the comeback kid once again in a commanding position to call the shots.
Monti will have no option but to go to the elderly president, Giorgio Napolitano, surrender his mandate and give way to elections early next year, probably in February or March. If Berlusconi emerges as head of the largest party – whatever he calls it – then he would be the favorite to become premier once again. This would be quite an incredible achievement for a near-octogenarian mired by endless scandals with underage consorts and the famous bunga-bunga parties in his official mansion.
Berlusconi is an embittered man who feels himself betrayed by powerful friends – Nicholas Sarkozy and Merkel chief among them – and he is in no mood to quietly slink away and sulk in retirement. Italy is in terrible shape after six months of screw-down austerity. Cuts in public services, especially health, have hit home hard, unemployment is rising fast especially among under-35’s, social protections are ripped away and the housing market is in free fall.
In the traditional prosperous north stretching from Genoa in the west to Venezia and Trieste on the Adriatic – Italy’s true money belt – unfamiliar hard times are striking home. Small businesses are going down like nine pins to foreign, especially Asian, competition under-cutting home manufactures. The hounds are out for the secession of Veneto from the Italian union and similar calls are echoed in Sicily, Sardinia, and even Lombardy, home to Milan, Italy’s financial powerhouse.
Berlusconi is carefully watching the rise of independents, breakaway nationalists and populist tide-riders like the satirical comic Beppe Grillo and his Five Star Movement. Grillo’s force scored stunning results in last year’s local elections. If an election were held now he would probably come second to a rejuvenated Berlusconi party, scoring 15-18% of the vote to Berlusconi’s anticipated 25-27% with the Partito Democratico languishing on the third rung with about 12%. With secessionists and independents filling the rest of the seats, Berlusconi would certainly find his work cut out trying to govern, but he doesn’t care about that one bit. It’s payback time for bunga-bunga man.
Italians have not become suddenly sentimental and dewy eyed about their frolicking ex premier. They are just sick of the EU imposed austerity program and Monti’s sanctimonious face staring at them in the nightly broadcasts, urging them to take more pain.
Re-elected, Berlusconi would return automatically to the EU Council of Ministers where he would use every excuse to kick the ball around. He can use a qualified veto to make a nuisance of himself. But his most important task will be blackmailing his fellow college of cardinals. A straight case of encourager les autres.
The Spanish, Irish, Portuguese, Dutch and Belgians are straining on the austerity leash. Greece is more like one vast concentration camp where sick people are dying because there is insufficient medical care for serious maladies such as cancer. Malaria has returned to the Greek mainland, the first incidents in Europe for more than 35 years, thanks to the collapse of medical protection. Berlusconi has judged his moment finely and he knows it.
For her part, the Fuherina Merkel seems blinded by her own ambition and thus unable to see the raging whitewater ahead. She has come to the manic conviction that she is invincible, that she and only she can guide the good ship United Europe through storms and perils safely to harbor.
She is totally wrong, and worse, she is deaf to all the warnings that Europeans virtually en masse – including Germans – are opposed to the emergence of a sprawling European super-state.
So Captain Merkel is putting on more steam, hastening to full banking and fiscal union by New Year’s Day, an absurd haste driven by the one fear that she truly recognizes: to be denied by history as “the woman who saved Europe.” That Europe should sink with all hands on her watch is her prevailing nightmare.
In this cause she has resurrected Berlusconi, busted the traditional Franco-German pact at the heart of Europe, deeply offended the normally Euro-happy Belgians (hosts to all the EU institutions), inflamed the harmless Dutch and the Finns, grinding one country after another under her heel. It is time to take a fresh look at a UK referendum that would come out against staying in the EU.
The EU is a prison of nations, not a liberator. This is the rising spirit everywhere. Catalonia, the province which drives a fifth of what is left of the austerity-ravaged Spanish economy, will likely vote for parties in favor of secessionist forces at a snap election to be held there soon. The Spanish government is terrified because that would lead to new demands by the ever-restless Basques in the north of the country for their own full breakaway.
The Scots will almost certainly vote for self-determination in the binding referendum which David Cameron fought bitterly and failed to prevent. The Welsh have always been softer on the idea of independence, but anything is possible if Scotland goes it alone. Thinking the unthinkable is the new order of the day.
Wherever one looks in Europe today, one sees disunity from the Atlantic to the Adriatic.
Berlusconi has yet to light his autumn fire cracker, but from the look of his jib these days, he is certainly up to something serious. What an irony it would be if the great party thrower himself has the final say on the future of the great party itself, the crusade for European unity.
Richard Cottrell is a writer, journalist and former European MP (Conservative). His new book Gladio: NATO’s Dagger At The Heart Of Europe is now available from Progressive Press. You may order it using the link below (or by clicking here – Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis):
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Edited by End the Lie