Now that Italy’s longest-serving prime minister since the second world war has finally resigned amid angry crowds, as the
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BBC reports, shouting “baffoon,” what happens now to the country that all of Europe is worried about? It’s been suggested that “President Giorgio Napolitano is likely to appoint technocrat Mario Monti as his successor,” a man who is a “respected economist” and it is believed will help reassure the international markets. But, is it enough?
Berlusconi has agreed to leave once the new austerity measures are put in place, although one has to wonder if it wouldn’t serve Europe better if he left sooner. It’s well known that there is no time to waste as the Italian government bonds have recently reached the same interest rate level that caused Greece, Portugal et al to seek an EU bailout. The merits (if they can be found) of Berlusconi‘s leadership have left a bitter taste and an acutely ailing nation wondering, like everyone else, whether the proposed austerity measures are enough. An increased VAT, extended age for retirement, and public sector pay freezes are just some of the proposed features that are being implemented; but with a growth rate of less than 1% per year, over the last fifteen years, slashing expenditures may not prove ample to stem the overall feeling that a rescue package is inevitable. Growth, for Italy and the rest of the in-trouble eurozone countries, has to run in tandem with these necessary cuts. But for now, the Italians are busy waving goodbye to the man that put the term “Bunga Bunga parties” on everyone’s lips. Can it get any worse?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]