THE RAPIDLY unfolding crash of the EU drove the ruling class to take unprecedented action on Sunday to overturn the Italian election result and impose on the working class an unelected government of pro-EU ‘technocrats’.
The coup to remove the anti-EU coalition government, that was only announced last week and has not yet taken up office, expresses the panic gripping the bankers and bosses as the EU and the eurozone disintegrates. In the face of this catastrophe the capitalist class can no longer tolerate democratic votes that express the hatred of workers for the vicious austerity demanded by the EU bankers and implemented by the bureaucrats in Brussels.
The Italian crisis has unfolded since the general elections on March 4; elections that saw the traditional pro-EU parties swept aside by two new parties – the radical anti-establishment 5 Star Movement and the far right nationalist League. Both these parties were swept by the working class to resounding victory on the backs of their hostility to the EU and membership of the euro.
Last week this unlikely combination of parties announced they had reached agreement to form a coalition government and unveiled a joint economic platform that consisted of ignoring the austerity demands of the central banks and the repudiation of Italy’s massive state debts. They made no secret of their plans to ‘subvert’ the euro by setting up a parallel currency with a view to complete withdrawal and a return to the Lira. Previously Brussels had managed to convince itself that these upstart parties could be tamed and despite the rhetoric coerced back into the fold.
When last week it became clear that this was not the case – and with the growing realisation that Italy, the third largest economy using the euro, could not be easily brought to its knees as the left-reformist Syriza government in Greece had been – panic set in. The result was the unprecedented move on Sunday by the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, to refuse to accept the nomination of Paolo Savona as the finance minister in the new government.
Mattarella is unelected. He was appointed to this largely ceremonial position by the previous pro-EU government and his dictatorial refusal to accept Savona’s appointment is historically unprecedented.
The reason for this highly provocative and dangerous move is that Savona is a bitter opponent of Italian membership of the Eurozone.
Immediately the prime minister in waiting, Giuseppe Conte, resigned – in effect the coalition government was forced to resign before it even assumed power. Mattarella yesterday appointed a former official of the International Monetary Fund, Carlo Cottarelli, as prime minister and called on him to form a government of unelected technocrats.
Cottarelli is known in Italy as ‘Mr Scissors’ for his enthusiasm for demanding huge austerity cuts being inflicted on workers. The leaders of the 5 Star, Luigi Di Maio, and League, Matteo Salvini, denounced the veto, decrying what they called meddling by Germany with Salvini raging that Italy wasn’t a ‘colony’ and that ‘we won’t have Germany telling us what to do.’
Di Maio called for the president to be impeached first and then new elections in the near future.
While the money markets reacted with joy at the news the anti-EU coalition had been effectively brought down before even taking office, their celebrations will be very short lived as this attempt to impose a dictatorship by Brussels on the Italian working class will cause a revolutionary explosion in the country, one that will set the whole of Europe alight.
As the working class throughout Europe and in Britain in vote after vote demonstrate their hatred of the capitalist EU, so the ruling class is driven to dispense with the pretence of democracy and turn to dictatorial methods of rule. This is what happened in Greece and now they are attempting the same in Italy, while in Britain Tory and Labour MPs along with the unelected House of Lords are doing their best to overturn the referendum result.
With Europe on the brink of revolutionary uprising against the dictatorship of the bankers and bosses, the building of sections of the Fourth International to lead the coming European Socialist Revolution to victory will be decisive.