The hell broke out on Tuesday afternoon, when European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources. Gunther Oettinger from German CDU claimed that “European voters should not vote for right populists or left parties.”
Reason for this unprecedented ‘teaching’ was the political turmoil in Italy and the prospect of new elections. Oettinger said this during an interview with German state media Deutsche Welle.
Quoting Oettinger, interviewer Bern Riegert tweeted:
EU Budget Commissioner @GOettingerEU on Italy:
“My concern, and my expectation is that the coming weeks will show that … Italy’s economic development could be so drastic that this could be a possible signal to voters not to choose populists from left and right.” pic.twitter.com/9Ao8DaWlkt
— DW | Europe (@dw_europe) May 29, 2018
Prompt was the respond by the diplomatic commission of Italy in the EU @ItalyinEU
— Italy 🇮🇹 in EU (@ItalyinEU) May 29, 2018
“Italian democracy shall be respected by everyone. As always in our Republican history, Italians will vote freely and independently,” said @Italyin Eu in a follow up tweet.
Also the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, intervened and told Oettinger:
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) May 29, 2018
A correspondent in Brussels:
Juncker abandons Oettinger to his fate. His spokesman says: ‘President Juncker was informed of these unwise remarks. He asks me to clarify once and for all the official Commission position. It is the Italians and only the Italians who will decide on the future of their country.’
— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) May 29, 2018
Meanwhile a correction of the first quote of Oettinger has been published:
— Sven Giegold (@sven_giegold) May 29, 2018
Whether he said ‘teaches” or not, it makes little difference. The EU Commissioner made it even worse: he admitted that it it the markets and investors who rule and democracis in the Eurozone are a ‘farce.”
President of EU Commissioner issued a statement saying:
.@JunckerEU convinced that Italy’s fate does not lie in the hands of the financial markets. “#Italy is a founding member of the #EU that and will continue on its European path. #Italy deserves respect.” https://t.co/xcF4JFhTHR
— Mina Andreeva (@Mina_Andreeva) May 29, 2018
Hours later, Oettinger issued an apologizing statement saying:
“I fully respect the will of voters being left, right or centre and in every country. By referring to the actual market developments in Italy, I did not mean to be disrespectful and I apologise for this. Italy as a founding member played and plays an important role in European integration and I hope it will continue on this path.”
— Günther H. Oettinger (@GOettingerEU) May 29, 2018
Dozens of Italian Twitter users replied to him ironic and not so flattering comments.
Italy’s political crisis
What Germany and the Italian President who initiated the whole issue do not seem to understand is they cannot put handcuffs to voters and take them to ballot centers with a ticked ballot in their mouth.
Several international commentators warn that the so-called “constitutional coup” will boost the right populists in the next elections expected to he held in late summer or autumn.
President Sergio Mattarella, triggered a political crisis in Italy when on May 27th he rejected university professor Paolo Savona as Minister of Economy and Finances who was proposed by the right/far-right wing elections winners who were about to form a government with law professor Giuseppe Conte as Prime Minister.
Mattarella strongly opposed him, considering Savona too Eurosceptic and anti-German. Mattarella declared that the two parties wanted to bring Italy out of the Eurozone, and as the guarantor of Italian Constitution and country’s interest and stability he could not allow this.
Conte returned the mandate to form the government, Mattarella gave the mandate to economic Carlo Cottarelli, a former employee at the international Monetary Fund.
The hell broke out in Italy and else where in Europe, with the main argument to be: Voting is one of the main principles of democracy and vote results should be respected, no matter what the outcome.
Immediately the markets reacted negative, with stock exchanges and the Euro in downwards trend.
The Italian government debt stands at €2.1 trillion (131.1% of GDP)
Immediate was also the response of Germany, with many of its media outlets to have started a war against Italy similar to the one against Greece during the crisis.
Renowned magazine Der Spiegel posted an opinion article that starts “How should we call a nation that first stretches the hand to borrow money in order to have a nice life founded by others and then it threatens its lenders when they recall the debt?” The scrounger of Rome is the title of the article bubbling over with German arrogance and quite a lot of envy for the rich Italian North.
for sure, Germany doe snot want another Euro-crisis, although everybody knows that Germany is the only country that wins from the euro-crises as 1. the low Euro benefits its exports and 2. investors rash to German bonds that attract marketers like the bees with the good old German economic security.
The point is at the end of the day and within just a few days we see again a South-North ‘War’ and anti-German sentiment sweeping again across Europe.
And, of course, there is also a dilemma that should in fact be no dilemma in democracies.