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“. . . Almost a Victory in the Third World War”

COMMENT: Supplementing our previous discussion of the central role of German banks in precipitating the euro-zone crisis, we relate the observations of an Italian politico.

Hitting the nail on the head, Renato Brunetta has blamed the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis on Germany. 

Of paramount significance here is Mr. Brunetta’s comment that the German machinations were “almost a victory in the third world war.”

Almost?!

What Brunetta is taking stock of here is the fundamental German adherence to the theoretical doctrine of Carl von Clausewitz, which we’ve highlighted in our previous post. Germany is using its banks and bankers instead of armies, tanks and planes.

 It is vital to understand that the events overtaking the world were deliberate and preconceived. Germany is waging World War III in the economic sphere, rather than the military one.

In addition, the European Commission is concerned that German bank regulators are deliberately obstructing the free movement of capital.

“Germany Caused The Euro Crisis”; Germany Watch; 12/11/2012.

EXCERPT: Germany caused the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis as a way to prevent the collapse of its own banking system, a senior ally to former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi claims….

“Mr. Brunetta sought to link allegations that Deutsche Bank AG (DB) hid potential derivative losses from regulators to the bank’s large-scale sale of sovereign bonds issued by peripheral euro-zone nations, including Italy.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating allegations made by two former traders. Deutsche Bank has denied the claims.

Mr. Brunetta said that German bund yields had been inching up in early 2011, highlighting fears of the solvency of Germany’s banks. He claimed the banks, “probably with the implicit support of Berlin, decided to transfer the potential crisis of their own private banking system on to countries considered the weakest in the euro area.”

“As yields rose in peripheral countries, they fell sharply in Germany, allowing Ms. Merkel to seek to “create a hegemony over the euro zone” and turn the focus from banking to public finances, Mr. Brunetta said, describing the operation as “almost a victory in the third world war.”

“EU Concerned German Bank Rules Block Movement of Capital-Paper”; Reuters; 1/3/2013.

EXCERPT: The European Commission is concerned that German bank regulator BaFin may be inhibiting the free movement of capital in Europe’s common market, German daily Handelsblatt said.

The commission and the European Banking Authority are scrutinising BaFin’s policy to demand that banks – including subsidiaries of foreign lenders – keep sufficient liquidity for their German operations, the paper said on Thursday.

It cited a spokesman for Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier. . .

Discussion

2 comments for ““. . . Almost a Victory in the Third World War””

  1. Awkard!

    Monti says Merkel doesn’t want left to win Italy election
    February 20, 2013|Reuters

    ROME (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not want the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) to win Italy’s national election, outgoing Italian Prime Minister and centrist leader Mario Monti said on Wednesday.

    “Merkel fears the consolidation of parties from the left, especially in an election year for her, I don’t think she has any wish to see the PD arrive in government,” Monti said in an interview with Italian news agency Adnkronos.

    His remarks were confirmed by his spokeswoman, who added that he was expressing his opinion and was not claiming to have spoken to Merkel directly on the matter.

    A German government spokesman said, “The chancellor doesn’t comment on the Italian election campaign and has not done so in the past.”

    The comments could nevertheless be embarrassing for the German chancellor who has been at pains to stay out of the campaign for Italy’s vote this weekend.

    Monti was responding to comments by centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi, who has repeatedly attacked the German Chancellor and claimed Monti had already agreed to join forces with the PD after the election “with Merkel’s blessing”.

    Merkel has been keeping her lips sealed before the vote but in an unusual foray into an election campaign in a European neighbor, her foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, recently dropped a thinly veiled hint about sentiment in her government.

    “We are of course not involved in the Italian election … But whoever forms the new government, we think it is important that the pro-European course and the necessary reforms will be continued,” Westerwelle told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

    Westerwelle is a member of the pro-market Free Democrats (FDP), junior partner in Merkel’s centre-right coalition.

    Asked to comment on Monti’s latest remarks, Bersani answered bluntly: “I don’t know if it’s Monti’s problem or Merkel’s.”

    In an interview on Wednesday with local German daily Straubinger Tagblatt, Merkel refused to take sides in Italy’s election.

    “It’s up to the Italians to choose their government and I won’t get involved by giving recommendations or by speculating,” she said.

    This is the kind of political awkwardness that the eurozone might have to start getting used to because there’s one country that effectively runs the eurozone right now and everyone knows it:

    Germany’s Merkel not involved in Italian election: Monti

    ROME | Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:23am EST

    (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti rowed back on Thursday from comments suggesting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had expressed opposition to his political rivals on the center-left days before an election next week.

    Monti, leading a centrist coalition in the election, was quoted a day earlier saying that he did not think Merkel had “any wish to see the PD in government”, referring to the Democratic Party, the main center-left force which has been leading in opinion polls before the vote.

    He made the statement in response to an assertion by his other main rival. Silvio Berlusconi. who had said that Monti and PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani had already agreed to join forces “with Merkel’s blessing”.

    “I wanted to rebut what Berlusconi said yesterday and say that it was not only untrue but implausible,” Monti said in a video interview broadcast on the website of the daily Corriere della Sera.

    In an increasingly bitter election campaign, Berlusconi has sought to paint Monti as a Merkel subordinate, following “German-centric” austerity policies ordered by Brussels and Berlin that he says have plunged Italy into recession.

    He also denied that if he were to seek an agreement with the left he would need the “blessing” of the conservative German chancellor.

    “It’s a bit paradoxical when you think of it because Merkel and Berlusconi are part of the same political family,” he said.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 21, 2013, 11:42 am
  2. So is there a desire in Berlin to see Berlusconi elected? Because having German leaders openly tell voters to not vote Berlusconi when the elections are just days away and Berlusconi is polling a close second place seems like exactly the kind of move that might prop up support for Berlusconi:

    EU parliament chief tells Italians not to vote for Berlusconi

    BERLIN | Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:30am EST

    (Reuters) – The German president of the European Parliament, once compared to a Nazi concentration camp guard by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, warned Italians on Thursday not to back the scandal-ridden media tycoon at the ballot box.

    Martin Schulz is the latest in a line of German politicians to express fears about a possible Berlusconi comeback largely due to worries he will halt Rome’s reform drive that has helped to lift investor confidence in the euro zone.

    “Silvio Berlusconi has already sent Italy into a tailspin with irresponsible behavior in government and personal escapades,” Schulz was quoted as saying in German daily Bild.

    Berlusconi has been sentenced to prison for tax fraud and is on trial for having sex with an under-aged prostitute.

    In quotes not printed in the paper but sent in an advance copy of the report, Schulz went on to urge Italians to vote for continued reforms.

    “Much is at stake in the forthcoming elections, including making sure that the confidence built up by (Prime Minister) Mario Monti is not lost. I am very confident that Italian voters will make the right choice for their country.”

    Another possibility is that Berlin doesn’t want to see Berlusconi win, it wants to see Berlusconi almost win. Because if Berlusconi almost wins, the likely winner, Peir Luigi Bersani, will be forced to form a coalition with the troika-installed technocrat Mario Monti. But if Bersani can garner enough support in these final days of the election no coalition with Monti will be required. Hmmm:

    Reuters
    Italy’s Bersani May Need Post-Vote Deal With Monti: Scenarios
    By Chiara Vasarri – Feb 19, 2013 2:05 AM CT

    “I’ll be back” has been Silvio Berlusconi’s frequent slogan since he first departed from the political field two decades ago. His first government, in 1994, lasted a mere year. It ended in semi-farce when his main ally, the Northern League, pulled out. Prosecutors announced an investigation into alleged corruption while he hosted a G8 meeting in Naples. But he was back in 2001 through 2006, when he lost by a whisker to the left; then back again in 2008, when a stumbling left government lost its majority.

    His resignation in 2011 was supposed – even by him – to be the final word. Instead, by the middle of last year, halfway through the austere term of the technocrat Mario Monti, he sniffed the air of a return from the political grave (or, according to his many detractors, recalled that being prime minister with the immunity of parliament was handy for one still facing criminal charges). Thus he inserted himself back into the leadership of the party he created, the People of Freedom. At 76, Berlusconi was on the stump once more. With bravura, he has promised to pay people back – in cash — for the property taxes they have paid since his departure, he won a shouting match with two left-wing journalists on their own TV show and he grabbed every minute of broadcast space that he could. One could admire his tenacity if he had not been such a disaster — economically, politically and morally — for his country.

    Berlusconi has a chance of winning this weekend’s elections. Roberto D’Alimonte, one of Italy’s leading political scientists, argues that the People of Freedom are a mere five points behind the left coalition’s 31 percent poll score. Berlusconi’s tally may be too low if some people are ashamed to tell pollsters they will vote for him. He’s a master of the late surge (as in 2006, where he narrowly snatched victory after trailing badly).

    Still, the left coalition is poised to win the election, as D’Alimonte concludes. Its leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, is a man of some decency, it seems, and no ideological leftist – if a former communist. As minister of economic development in the last leftist government, he was the man in charge of market liberalization and competition, and he encouraged a significant amount of both. His victory, though, is likely to be partial. He will need at least one ally, and that ally is likely to be the Civic Choice Party, formed a few months ago by Monti.

    Monti, though he is seen as a savior in governing circles abroad, is much less popular in the country that has had to suffer his austerity. He made up his party hastily, with two one-time supporters of Berlusconi – the Christian Democrat Pier Ferdinando Casini and the former leader of the National Alliance, Gianfranco Fini – neither of whom had high popularity ratings. Still, the 12 percent-15 percent Monti has been showing (polls are now banned until Sunday’s election) could translate into 30-40 seats. An alliance could give the left a majority. A Bersani-Monti coalition is now being touted in European chanceries, treasuries and editorials as the best outcome, given that a Monti victory seems impossible. There is fervent hope that he would be given wide latitude and strong political support for reforms that could reach much further.

    Monti said in a recent interview that his government “had taken away the veil which covered reality.” It had shown Italians the grim truth about their country that Berlusconi had covered with false optimism and reassurance. But most voters cannot bear too much reality.

    If the most likely winner prevails, a struggle fundamental to our age will continue — one that pits the aspirations of the left against the unveiled realities of globalization. If these two forces come to govern the euro zone’s third-largest economy, the outcome of the struggle will be global in its impact.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 21, 2013, 1:07 pm

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