Der Spiegel has now posted it’s complete interview with Italian PM Mario Monti.We mentioned earlier that the interview was causing Europe to flip out (even before it came out) because of a specific, anti-democratic statement that was said by Monti.
Monti, who is an unelected leaders, basically straight up said that governments must not be beholden to their parliaments, and that they just need to get stuff done.
Here’s the specific quote that’s really set folks off…
Monti: I can understand that they must show consideration for their parliament. But at the end of the day, every country in the European Union has a parliament as well as a constitutional court. And of course each government must orient itself according to decisions made by parliament. But every government also has a duty to educate parliament. If I had stuck to the guidelines of my parliament in an entirely mechanical way, then I wouldn’t even have been able to agree to the decisions that were made at the most recent (EU) summit in Brussels.
SPIEGEL: Why not?
Monti: I was given the task of pushing through euro bonds at the summit. If governments let themselves be fully bound by the decisions of their parliaments without protecting their own freedom to act, a breakup of Europe would be a more probable outcome than deeper integration.
But the interview is very rich, and there’s more than just this. He spends a lot of time talking about popular sentiment.
SPIEGEL: Do you believe that this problem is still solvable?
Monti: Yes and in this regard there is also a front line between North and South, there are mutual prejudices. That is very disquieting and we need to fight it. I am certain that most Germans have instinctive liking for Italy, just as Italians admire Germans for their many qualities. But I also have the impression that the majority of Germans somehow believe that Italy has already received financial aid from Germany or the European Union, which simply is not the case. Not a single euro.
As for Monti’s own ambitions, he says:
Monti: If everything goes according to plan, I will remain in office until April 2013, and I hope that I can rescue Italy from financial ruin by then — and this with moral support from a few European friends, led by Germany. But I will also say very clearly: moral support, not financial. And, finally, I hope that Italy will simply become a little bit more boring to outside observers. If Germany and other countries are interested in ensuring a future for the current policies in Italy, then …