Manuela Moschella

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Brussels should not accept everything the new Italian government proposes, but a fair and honest relationship is what Italy and Europe needs.

There is a spectre haunting Europe these days. No, it’s not communism but the rise of far-right parties. In less than a month, far-right parties have been swooped up big chunks of popular votes in countries as different as Sweden and Italy.

However, it is the large electoral victory of Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, and the likely designation of Meloni as prime minister of the new Italian government, that has so far attracted the most serious concerns. Her party’s ambivalent relationship with its fascist roots has indeed sparked anxiety about the prospect of Italian democracy and the country’s loyalty to the European project.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sales sign in the city centre of Bonn in Germany on 5 February, 2022 as inflation in the eurozone remains high. Photo by Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

There was a time when inflation stopped being a policy and public concern. This time started with the so-called ‘Volcker shock’ in the 1980s when US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker successfully led global central banks to fight rising prices with rapid interest rate increases.

This did tame inflation but at a high unemployment cost, and was followed by two decades of the Great Moderation when central banks secured both low inflation and stable economic growth.

Since the 2008 global financial crisis – and in the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic – central banks have been mainly concerned by inflation being too low, especially in the eurozone where stubbornly low-price level increases have defied European Central Bank (ECB) attempts to meet its two per cent inflation target for almost a decade.…  Seguir leyendo »

Seats representing faces with the Italian colors in the Cortina d'Ampezzo in the Italian Alps. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images.

As former European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi prepares to take over as Italy’s prime minister, the choice by the country’s president of a man widely seen as a ‘technocrat’ has been warmly welcomed in financial markets and European policymaking circles.

Since the January collapse of the previous government which was mainly supported by a political coalition between the Five Star Movement (M5S) and centre-left Partito Democratico (PD), inconclusive negotiations among the political parties over forming a new cabinet has left Italy stuck in a political and economic stalemate.

But even when the prospects of Draghi, a former governor of the Bank of Italy, leading a new cabinet seemed bleak, the markets still sent a unanimous verdict – they effectively blessed the new government by sending Italian government bond yields down.…  Seguir leyendo »

Photo by SERGIO PESCI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock. Italian army trucks are loaded with coffins to be transported to a crematorium. (Sergio Pesci/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

On Thursday, European Union leaders are holding a videoconference to plan their fight against the new coronavirus. They will also probably discuss the economic consequences of the pandemic. A group of nine member states have proposed that the European Union borrow money to finance the fight against coronavirus by issuing joint “coronabonds,” a move opposed by Germany and the Netherlands.

This decision will be made against the backdrop of a looming fiscal crisis in one of the E.U.’s founding members, and its third-largest economy. Italy was already in a financially precarious position before the pandemic. Its government has run a budget account surplus excluding interest payments (spending less money than it brings in), in 19 of the last 20 years.…  Seguir leyendo »