EU calls for sanctions against Italy

The EU Commission has opened disciplinary procedures against Italy after the country refused to submit a budget proposal that squares with its rules. The warning, while not rare in EU terms, has been marked by tensions between the Commission and Italy’s populist government. Following the news, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini told reporters he was open to small tweaks in the budget, but said he wouldn’t compromise on main principles. 

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5 minutes ago, Cokiga Damke said:

The EU Commission has opened disciplinary procedures against Italy after the country refused to submit a budget proposal that squares with its rules. The warning, while not rare in EU terms, has been marked by tensions between the Commission and Italy’s populist government. Following the news, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini told reporters he was open to small tweaks in the budget, but said he wouldn’t compromise on main principles. 

I believe that Italy has the strongest hand ever. EU will have to make big concessions.  EU cannot afford to lose Italy, also EU would have to fine France, Spain and Belgium as well..

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Just now, Joanna said:

I believe that Italy has the strongest hand ever. EU will have to make big concessions.  EU cannot afford to lose Italy, also EU would have to fine France, Spain and Belgium as well..

Can’t afford to lose Italy? Why? Doesn’t Italy have the second highest debt just behind Greece? South is pooper that some third world countries

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2 minutes ago, Meanwhile said:

Can’t afford to lose Italy? Why? Doesn’t Italy have the second highest debt just behind Greece? South is pooper that some third world countries

Markets up, banks up, Italy winning

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 if Italy can't hang with the EU then it shouldn't be in the EU. Brexit, Italexit, maybe Grexit? Nationalism and populists are breaking out all over

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4 minutes ago, Meanwhile said:

Can’t afford to lose Italy? Why? Doesn’t Italy have the second highest debt just behind Greece? South is pooper that some third world countries

They will ignore them until EU-wide elections in May and measure the outcome. If politically favorable, they could continue to ignore them.

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Just now, Ajan Bosnjacki said:

They will ignore them until EU-wide elections in May and measure the outcome. If politically favorable, they could continue to ignore them.

The ECB should simply stop buying Italian bonds and other countries should stop giving credit to the Italian central bank via Target 2.

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8 minutes ago, Joanna said:

I believe that Italy has the strongest hand ever. EU will have to make big concessions.  EU cannot afford to lose Italy, also EU would have to fine France, Spain and Belgium as well..

That's all very interesting but isn't it funny how the EU can bend or ignore their own rules whenever it suits their political agenda?

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3 minutes ago, Ajan Bosnjacki said:

They will ignore them until EU-wide elections in May and measure the outcome. If politically favorable, they could continue to ignore them.

If Italy can't grow its way out of this mess they are doomed. Might as well give it a try because so far the EU has not worked for them at all. Italy's economy is smaller now than it was when it entered the EU.

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The EU is run for the benefit of Germany. If Germany still had the DM they would not be able to trade as it would be too strong however add in Italy, Greece etc and you have a Euro that is lower than the DM ever could be so that is helping them trade. Flipside is Italy, Greece etc have to stay poor and export skilled labour and raw materials to Germany. The EU is not designed to help poor countries it is there to enslave them in a debt spiral Italians, like the Greeks before them, are sick of it, they know where the problem lies and are about to have their tilt at it. Forza Italia!

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(edited)

2 hours ago, jaycee said:

The EU is run for the benefit of Germany. If Germany still had the DM they would not be able to trade as it would be too strong however add in Italy, Greece etc and you have a Euro that is lower than the DM ever could be so that is helping them trade. Flipside is Italy, Greece etc have to stay poor and export skilled labour and raw materials to Germany. The EU is not designed to help poor countries it is there to enslave them in a debt spiral Italians, like the Greeks before them, are sick of it, they know where the problem lies and are about to have their tilt at it. Forza Italia!

EU membership does not require using the euro as currency. 

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen

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These guys in EU can't seem to hold it together, except Germany who seems to have gotten the best deal out of all of them....LMAO

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(edited)

7 hours ago, Meanwhile said:

Can’t afford to lose Italy? Why? Doesn’t Italy have the second highest debt just behind Greece? South is pooper that some third world countries

I sailed across the south of italy 12 months ago, from rocella ionica on the south coast mainland thru messina strait and across Sicily and owards to sardinia.

Your statement above is complete BS.

The Italians even in the south have a pretty good standard of living despite a very soft economy at the moment. You cannot compare them to a 3rd world country, im sorry but thats going way too far... the poorest region we visited was actually the rural areas of sardinia. However what they lack in terms of money was more than made up for by their environment... the place is absolutely stunning, pristine pure white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, undeveloped coastlines- it was our favourite place in the entire Mediterranean. The people didnt have much money- but everything was available and cheap. Land was cheap, food was cheap and plenty of fresh prodce everywhere... just no jobs... all the young people are leaving the small towns and moving to the cities because theirs little career or employment opportunities.

I tell you what tho- theres a huge untapped tourism potential there... i think its a cultural problem also where the young people see agriculture as undesireable. Yet if its done well- agriculture can be very profitable also...

Also- however much a part of their lifesytle the "siesta" is- i think its very large burdon on productivity... their businesses appear to be closed more often than open because of it and its a big problem that they dont realize or are unwilling to change. They would gain a huge amount of prodictivity if they could make the cultural change to get rid of the siesta and have an uninterrupted working day...

Edited by catch22
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51 minutes ago, catch22 said:

I sailed across the south of italy 12 months ago, from rocella ionica on the south coast mainland thru messina strait and across Sicily and owards to sardinia.

Hey, Catch.  Good to see you.

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9 hours ago, Cokiga Damke said:

The EU Commission has opened disciplinary procedures against Italy after the country refused to submit a budget proposal that squares with its rules. The warning, while not rare in EU terms, has been marked by tensions between the Commission and Italy’s populist government. Following the news, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini told reporters he was open to small tweaks in the budget, but said he wouldn’t compromise on main principles. 

Take note that the President of the EU Council calls dissenters to EU collectivism "Brownshirts".  Literally Nazis.

Brownshirt
/ˈbraʊnʃəːt/
noun
HISTORICAL
plural noun: Brownshirts
  1. a member of a Nazi militia founded by Hitler in Munich in 1921, with brown uniforms resembling those of Mussolini's Blackshirts. They aided Hitler's rise to power, but were eclipsed by the SS after the ‘night of the long knives’ in June 1934.

 

Tusk critical of Trump's stance on 'strong' Europe

President of the European Council Donald Tusk has accused US President Donald Trump of being averse to a "strong and united" Europe, and also warned against the emergence of a "brownshirt" nationalist front in EU elections next year.

His comments came as Mr Trump, in France for WWI centenary commemorations, criticised French President Emmanuel Macron over his proposals for a European army.

... Mr Trump on Friday posted a tweet berating Mr Macron's calls for a European army, but the French president on Saturday sought to ease the row, hailing the "great solidarity" between the two countries.

Looking ahead to the European Parliament elections in May, Mr Tusk warned against the emergency of a nationalist front opposed to the EU itself.

"It cannot be ruled out that there will be two streams represented: one in the colours of the brownshirts - anti European and focused on nationalism - and the second which wants to push as much as possible for EU integration," said Mr Tusk.

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9 hours ago, Cokiga Damke said:

The EU Commission has opened disciplinary procedures against Italy after the country refused to submit a budget proposal that squares with its rules. The warning, while not rare in EU terms, has been marked by tensions between the Commission and Italy’s populist government. Following the news, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini told reporters he was open to small tweaks in the budget, but said he wouldn’t compromise on main principles. 

And related, populism and nationalism are being redefined by Google as bad things.  Related thread on this topic here.

 

 

duckduckgo nationalism.png

Google nationalism.png

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2 hours ago, catch22 said:

I sailed across the south of italy 12 months ago, from rocella ionica on the south coast mainland thru messina strait and across Sicily and owards to sardinia.

Your statement above is complete BS.

The Italians even in the south have a pretty good standard of living despite a very soft economy at the moment. You cannot compare them to a 3rd world country, im sorry but thats going way too far... the poorest region we visited was actually the rural areas of sardinia. However what they lack in terms of money was more than made up for by their environment... the place is absolutely stunning, pristine pure white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, undeveloped coastlines- it was our favourite place in the entire Mediterranean. The people didnt have much money- but everything was available and cheap. Land was cheap, food was cheap and plenty of fresh prodce everywhere... just no jobs... all the young people are leaving the small towns and moving to the cities because theirs little career or employment opportunities.

I tell you what tho- theres a huge untapped tourism potential there... i think its a cultural problem also where the young people see agriculture as undesireable. Yet if its done well- agriculture can be very profitable also...

Also- however much a part of their lifesytle the "siesta" is- i think its very large burdon on productivity... their businesses appear to be closed more often than open because of it and its a big problem that they dont realize or are unwilling to change. They would gain a huge amount of prodictivity if they could make the cultural change to get rid of the siesta and have an uninterrupted working day...

Thanks for your point of view and the travel info!

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1 hour ago, Dan Warnick said:

Hey, Catch.  Good to see you.

Im out for a while dan- my mother is in palliative care so im down with her waiting for the inevitable to take its course. Ill be back trading again in a couple weeks but probably not much from me till then.

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27 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

And related, populism and nationalism are being redefined by Google as bad things.  Related thread on this topic here.

 

 

duckduckgo nationalism.png

Google nationalism.png

 

You will find many definitions of nationalism, some being positive and others being negative because its heavily related to the specific history of each country.

In Western Europe, after two World Wars mainly caused by nationalism we probably have a more negative definition of nationalism than for instance in the US where it is more related to a cyclic isolationist trend. In Eastern Europe they probably have a more positive view of nationalism  because they equate it to opposing the soviet domination between 1945 and 1989.

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(edited)

8 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

EU membership does not require using the euro as currency. 

All new EU members joining the bloc after the signing of the Maastricht treaty in 1992 are obliged to adopt the euro under the terms of their accession treaties. 

Furthermore, nearly all of the membership of before that date joined the Euro Currency area. No country has left the EU Zone and there are no provisions to do so or to be expelled.

To all intents and purposes using the Euro as currency is a condition of membership. When countries join the EU they are given time for their economies to align with EU rules before their compulsory Euro Zone membership begins. Several newish member countries are in this process.

The UK joined the EU in 1973 and thus could not be forced to join the Euro Zone and has not joined it. The only other EU member not obliged to join the Euro Zone is Denmark, for the same reason as the UK and thus it remains outside the Euro Zone.

The other EU countries not yet in the Euro Zone are the relatively new members going through the qualifying period for compulsory membership.

Edited by Ian Chesterton

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14 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

EU membership does not require using the euro as currency. 

I stick by my statement the EU is run for the benefit of Germany. Not being in the euro does not mean a country is not feeding the German machine. Nothing happens in the EU without Germany's approval.

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10 hours ago, catch22 said:

The Italians even in the south have a pretty good standard of living despite a very soft economy at the moment. You cannot compare them to a 3rd world country, im sorry but thats going way too far... the poorest region we visited was actually the rural areas of sardinia. However what they lack in terms of money was more than made up for by their environment... the place is absolutely stunning, pristine pure white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, undeveloped coastlines- it was our favourite place in the entire Mediterranean. The people didnt have much money- but everything was available and cheap. Land was cheap, food was cheap and plenty of fresh prodce everywhere... just no jobs... all the young people are leaving the small towns and moving to the cities because theirs little career or employment opportunities.

I tell you what tho- theres a huge untapped tourism potential there... i think its a cultural problem also where the young people see agriculture as undesireable. Yet if its done well- agriculture can be very profitable also...

Also- however much a part of their lifesytle the "siesta" is- i think its very large burdon on productivity... their businesses appear to be closed more often than open because of it and its a big problem that they dont realize or are unwilling to change. They would gain a huge amount of prodictivity if they could make the cultural change to get rid of the siesta and have an uninterrupted working day...

I would add to your brief view of Italy with my view. The south is a different country. I have lived and worked in Italy and have many close friends living there. The north is industrial and the laid back attitude of the far south is a lot less prevalent unless you go deep into the countryside. What you saw in the south was a place that there is not much work and people live at the pace of life they want. Nobody works in the afternoon as its too hot they work later in the evening when its cooler, if there is work to do. There is no point trying to run a business however if there are no customers. Regards tourism that needs a lot of investment which in Italy is hard to come by add in the massive corruption in the south, ie Mafia, and tryign to set up a new business is very costly.
I agree with your assertion that Italy is not 3rd world however it is falling apart, literally, on all levels from infrastructure, bridges collapsing, to economics, massive debt. Corruption is endemic, even in the north, as is tax evasion the cost of living is high and wages low in the industrial parts, the job market is over regulated, nepotistic and in many cased controlled by organised crime. People have given up on the state hence the mass tax evasion, not that they were keen to pay before mind you. If it wasn't for the wonderful food, relatively cheap wine and very strong community bonds between people there would be a revolution such is the disillusionment with authority. 5 Star is shaking things up as after near 10 years of EU (German) imposed austerity achieving negative growth someone from outside the cosy elite is standing up and saying enough is enough we need to do things differently. I don't know were this will end but for Italy it is better than a slow dive into becoming a 3rd world state. The solution is debt forgiveness, in the past Italy did its own debt forgiveness programme by devaluing the Lira on a regular basis with that method of restructuring not available they need debt forgiveness which is something German bankers have heart attacks thinking about, just as they did with Greece. The austerity and almost take over of the running of the country has not worked there as Greece appear to need another unplanned bail out so much for the EU sorting there problems out by taxing and cutting government investment. all they have achieved is mass suffering and migration of the educated Greeks and the country is still failing. This is where Italy is heading and many there can see it.
All in my humble opinion.

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10 hours ago, catch22 said:

Im out for a while dan- my mother is in palliative care so im down with her waiting for the inevitable to take its course. Ill be back trading again in a couple weeks but probably not much from me till then.

I am very sorry to hear that, Catch.  Be strong.  Take care.

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10 hours ago, Guillaume Albasini said:

 

You will find many definitions of nationalism, some being positive and others being negative because its heavily related to the specific history of each country.

In Western Europe, after two World Wars mainly caused by nationalism we probably have a more negative definition of nationalism than for instance in the US where it is more related to a cyclic isolationist trend. In Eastern Europe they probably have a more positive view of nationalism  because they equate it to opposing the soviet domination between 1945 and 1989.

Hi Guillaume.  I believe you are quite right that it has different meanings related to the history of each country.

For the U.S. version, if you will, I really think we see it much more simply:  It just means we are proud of our country. 

Donald Trump knows this and uses it the same as Ronald Reagan did all throughout his career, including through to the end of his presidency and beyond.  When an American (of course I can't speak for all Americans, but let's say in general) hears a leader tell them not to listen to the naysayers or those that would drag America down, and that we need to be strong and be proud, we do indeed find ourselves standing a little taller, we do indeed try to forget the petty BS, we do indeed make a conscious decision to pay a bit more attention to issues that matter and, most of all, get back involved with our government to the extent of calling and writing and emailing our congressmen/women and local representatives to remind them they need to steer back to basic values that take care of America first.

I would ask our international friends not to read into it more than that.  If you hear us or our leaders saying we must take care of ourselves first, and our friends second, this (to us) means the same thing as if we were talking about taking care of our immediate family first, never forgetting or forsaking our friends and neighbors, and then taking care of things outside of our families second.

Further, if you hear harsh words from vocal people in a crowd about other countries, it is typically because people have a perception, beaten into them by politicians begging for support, and the media, that people in other nations don't seem to care that we've been helping them and it seems like they don't appreciate it.  Again, this relates to how we would deal with a perceived lack of appreciation from a neighbor or even, or maybe especially, a family member.  Sort of a "Fine!  We'll just bring our troops home and let them see how they get along without us.  We need the money right now anyway."

Please don't let the voices of the media and government officials distort the meaning more than that, because most Americans are not attacking any other country, either in their thoughts or with their actions.

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1 hour ago, Dan Warnick said:

Hi Guillaume.  I believe you are quite right that it has different meanings related to the history of each country.

For the U.S. version, if you will, I really think we see it much more simply:  It just means we are proud of our country. 

Donald Trump knows this and uses it the same as Ronald Reagan did all throughout his career, including through to the end of his presidency and beyond.  When an American (of course I can't speak for all Americans, but let's say in general) hears a leader tell them not to listen to the naysayers or those that would drag America down, and that we need to be strong and be proud, we do indeed find ourselves standing a little taller, we do indeed try to forget the petty BS, we do indeed make a conscious decision to pay a bit more attention to issues that matter and, most of all, get back involved with our government to the extent of calling and writing and emailing our congressmen/women and local representatives to remind them they need to steer back to basic values that take care of America first.

I would ask our international friends not to read into it more than that.  If you hear us or our leaders saying we must take care of ourselves first, and our friends second, this (to us) means the same thing as if we were talking about taking care of our immediate family first, never forgetting or forsaking our friends and neighbors, and then taking care of things outside of our families second.

Further, if you hear harsh words from vocal people in a crowd about other countries, it is typically because people have a perception, beaten into them by politicians begging for support, and the media, that people in other nations don't seem to care that we've been helping them and it seems like they don't appreciate it.  Again, this relates to how we would deal with a perceived lack of appreciation from a neighbor or even, or maybe especially, a family member.  Sort of a "Fine!  We'll just bring our troops home and let them see how they get along without us.  We need the money right now anyway."

Please don't let the voices of the media and government officials distort the meaning more than that, because most Americans are not attacking any other country, either in their thoughts or with their actions.

Dan, I understand your point of view. For many people nationalism is only being proud of own country but for others it is tainted with a feeling of superiority over the other countries or other cultures and it's this more extreme form that causes the real problems (xenophobia, racism). Given that the definition of nationalism is not clear if you define yourself as a nationalist, some can view you as just a patriotic guy proud of his country but other can view you as a potential xenophobic and racist. That depends of each one definition of nationalism and heavily related to the history of  own country. So I understand that those who are just proud of their own country are offended to be treated as xenophobic racists. But in the case of Donald Trump there is a huge amount of public declarations proving that he is leaning towards the more extreme form of nationalism (when he treated some foreign countries as "Shithole countries" for instance).

Another problem with nationalism is that in our modern world defining what is your own country is not always an easy task. Is It the country where you live ? Is it the country where you are born ? Is it the country where your family come from ?... Take my own case for instance. Three of my grand parents were Spanish so am I Spanish ? The father of my father was Italian and I have inherited of an Italian passport so am I Italian ? I'm born and raised in Switzerland but contrary to the US there is no automatic birthright citizenship in Switzerland so am I Swiss ? Living in the french speaking part of Switzerland, french is my mother tongue si am I French ? Personally I feel at the same time Swiss, Italian, Spanish and French and feel at home in all four countries. I'm multicultural and the best way to define me would be that I'm a European.

So when I see the current Italian government trying to undermine the EU I don't like it. The European Union has emerged after the second world war as an attempt to build something in common on our continent instead of having each country acting against the others until the next continental war. It is far from being a perfect construction and there are many issues on how the EU is structured or managed but I feel this is nevertheless a project worth to be defended against those who want to destroy it.

 

 

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