Italian PM: Euro Screwed Us All
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi issued a blunt rebuke to the euro when he blamed his predecessor, Romano Prodi, for getting Italy into a disaster. He stated, “I can say that Prodi’s euro screwed us all.”
According to The Independent:
“Mr Berlusconi’s comments hit the euro, which is sensitive to on-going hostility from Italian government members, and it fell to a low of $1.2036, but later recovered thanks to a drop in German unemployment.
“The European Commission leapt to the euro’s defence yesterday after the Italian premier’s comments. ‘We think the euro has not caused those problems and is an extremely good thing for Europe,’ a spokesman for the Commission said, stressing: ‘The euro is here to stay and will stay. Hundreds of economic studies clearly demonstrate that the introduction of the euro has been clearly beneficial for the economy.’
“The currency has come under a lot of pressure following the No votes in France and the Netherlands on the European constitution. Heated exchanges between Tony Blair and the French President, Jacques Chirac, about Britain’s budget rebate and subsidies to French farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy exacerbated uncertainty about the future direction of the European Union.”
Berlusconi is, of course, using the issues surrounding the euro as a political hot potato to gain respect before the upcoming Italian election. Still, as the preceding paragraph goes to show, it’s becoming an increasingly common tactic across the EU, and a hindrance to the currency’s ability to recover its lost ground.
You can read more of the strong words bantered about at The Independent’s coverage of Berlusconi on how the Euro “screwed everyone.”