EU threatens a ‘march on Rome’ to prevent collapse


AS THE EU crisis continues to sweep through the continent, a German MEP, Markus Ferber, offered his blunt assessment of the steps that the European ruling class would need to take to stop its complete destruction as a result of the political eruption in Italy.

When asked by German television about steps the EU should take to prevent the break-up and disintegration of the EU, Ferber stated that, in the event of Italy going bankrupt because of the policies of the incoming coalition government, ‘Then the Troika would have to march into Rome and take over the treasury.’

The Troika he talks of marching into Rome are the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. When he talks of the Troika ‘marching on Rome’, Ferber is doing no more than stating bluntly what the bankers are preparing for in order to discipline and completely subjugate the Italian working class for having the temerity to vote for anti-austerity parties. On Monday, the crisis broke when the unelected Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, staged what amounted to a coup when he refused to ratify the nomination of Paolo Savona as finance minister in the incoming coalition government.

His reasons for this unprecedented refusal were straightforward – Savona is a eurosceptic who has denounced Italy’s membership of the euro as an ‘historic mistake’. But, as Ferber has revealed, what is at stake is not just the coalition government, which has yet to come to power, nominating Savona but the entire economic policy on which the two parties fought the general election in which they trounced the traditional pro-EU parties. They were swept forward on policies which included a universal income for Italy’s poorest, reducing income tax to a flat rate of 15%, and the threat of repudiating Italy’s huge debt owed to the EU bankers, along with ignoring any EU demands for austerity.

The bosses and bankers of the EU will simply not tolerate the election of any government that challenges their right to make the working class pay for the crisis of capitalism and intend to carry out regime change to overthrow any democratically elected government that stands in their way.

Last Monday’s attempt by Italy’s president to derail the coalition came spectacularly unstuck when the ex-IMF banker Carlo Cottarelli, who Mattarella appointed to set up an unelected government of ‘technocrats’, failed miserably and the entire exercise backfired with coalition parties threatening to call a new general election.

Aware that any new elections would undoubtedly increase their vote, Mattarella made a partial retreat calling for fresh talks with 5 Star and the League on forming a government.

Rumours abound that the leader of 5 Star, Luigi Di Maio, may well be seeking a compromise and that the League, which had previously ruled out any compromise, might be considering some way out of the impasse.

Whatever happens in the tortuous negotiations taking place, it is clear that the EU is prepared to impose its own dictatorship over the Italian working class through a ‘march on Rome’ by the Troika.

This same Troika ‘took over’ the government of Greece in 2011 and in 2015 brought the left-reformist anti-austerity government of Syriza to its knees, imposing on Greek workers austerity cuts and a programme of mass privatisation of every public service.

The working class of Italy will be under no illusions what the rule of the Troika means and will not stand for it. What is also clear is that, as the bitter experience of the Syriza government in Greece proved, there is no reformist solution to this crisis. These anti-austerity parties that base themselves on reforming the EU or seeking salvation outside the strictures of the eurozone while leaving capitalism intact can only end up betraying the working class.

There is only one way to stop the dictatorship of the banks and bosses and that is for workers to take action by bringing down any government that seeks to compromise with the Troika and going forward to a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers, quit the capitalist EU and fight for its replacement with the Socialist United States of Europe.