Was Mattarella's veto the right move?
A fierce discussion has broken out in Europe's media over Italian President Sergio Mattarella's decision to reject Paolo Savona as finance minister. Some argue that he has saved Italy from a crash on the financial markets. Others fear that he has only put wind in the sails of the ever-stronger populists.
President is making the populists even stronger
By preventing the Lega and the Five Star Movement from forming a government the president may have shot himself in the foot, the Financial Times fears:
“In his haste to appoint yet another unelected caretaker technocrat as prime minister, following the collapse of the coalition, the president has put wind in the sails of the anti-establishment parties. They had a strong mandate to form a government with a majority in both chambers of parliament. Now, with some justification, they can head towards fresh elections arguing that not only is the Italian establishment in hock to Europe - at the expense of Italian growth. They are also undermining democracy itself.”
Mattarella protecting Italian taxpayers
The constitution gives President Mattarella the right to reject a proposed finance minister, journalist Kostas Giannakidis points out in Protagon, asking:
“Is this good or bad, right or wrong? That's a different debate entirely. The Italian president cited the interests of the country that were being undermined, along with its position in Europe. But there is something far more simple, obvious and understandable: the financial costs of all these populist political acrobatics. By rejecting Eurosceptic populist ministers he is protecting the pockets and the interest rates of Italian taxpayers against the nervous reactions of the markets. Oh yes, I understand your position and agree with it: the people must not be governed by the markets. It's a good argument, but it only works in North Korea.”
The EU has lost its way
Billionaire and philanthropist George Soros explains in hvg the reasons he sees for the EU's crisis of legitimacy:
“Since the financial crisis of 2008, the EU seems to have lost its way. It adopted a program of fiscal retrenchment, which led to the euro crisis and transformed the eurozone into a relationship between creditors and debtors. The creditors set the conditions that the debtors had to meet yet could not. This created a relationship that was neither voluntary nor equal - the very opposite of the credo on which the EU was based. As a result, many young people today regard the EU as an enemy that has deprived them of jobs and a secure and promising future. Populist politicians exploited the resentments and formed anti-European parties and movements.”