Mini-BOTs: a parallel currency for Italy?
The right-wing populist Lega has called on the Italian government to issue so-called mini-BOTs to pay its debts. The scheme would involve issuing short-term government bonds with maturities of up to twelve months and denominations of up to 500 euros. Observers fear the step could lead to a parallel currency that may pave the way for Italy's leaving the Eurozone.
Don't question Eurogroup membership
Euro countries shouldn't speculate about leaving the Eurozone, warns economist Andrea Franceschi in Il Sole 24 Ore:
“Already during the crisis in 2011/2012 Italy ran the risk of going back to the lira. This was accompanied by market speculation about the end of the single currency. Thanks to ECB president Mario Draghi the speculation came to nothing. ... Draghi's 'whatever it takes' [to overcome the euro crisis] worked well. But for that to remain the case one condition must be fulfilled: the euro countries must not question their Eurogroup membership. This basic prerequisite no longer seems to exist in Italy because at different times and to varying degrees both ruling parties have toyed with the idea of leaving the monetary union.”
Italexit a bad option
Italy would be making a big mistake if it left the EU, economist Roberto Sommella writes in Avvenire:
“Our ties to the EU become clear when you consider the sums we pay into Europe. Italy is one of the biggest net contributors to the EU budget. Last year it paid 12 billion euros, putting us into the group of the top three contributors together with France and Germany. ... Brussels allocated a gross total of 34 billion euros to Italy between 2016 and 2020 - a substantial amount which was unfortunately hardly made use of. So an Italexit is untenable from an economic point of view. ... The next European legislature period must be a 'constituent' one. All countries must do their bit to comply with the demands [for more Europe] that were made in the elections on May 26 2019.”