Photo: Getty / Brendan Hoffman
Italian PM Mario Monti is the only leader of a huge, developed “democracy” who didn’t get into their position by winning an election.Last year, when things were getting super-hairy in the Eurozone crisis, the ECB for all intents and purposes engineered an exit by Berlusconi, paving the way for the “technocrat” Mario Monti.
Monti’s task: Come in, reform the Italian system, and get out.
Now he’s apparently infuriated the rest of Europe by — surprise surprise! — criticising a key tenet of a democratic system.
In a soon-to-be released interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel Monti says:
“If governments allow themselves to be entirely bound to the decisions of their parliament, without protecting their own freedom to act, a break up of Europe would be a more probable outcome than deeper integration.”
In other words, if leaders (like Monti, Merkel, and Hollande) have to listen to the bodies that represent the voice of the people (parliaments) then Europe is going to break up.
Germany is flipping out:
In Berlin, a number of politicians have spoken out against Monti’s comments. “The acceptance of the euro and its rescue is strengthened through national parliaments and not weakened,” Joachim Poss, deputy floor leader for the centre-left Social Democratic Party, told the Rheinische Post newspaper. The politician said it appeared that the image of parliament in Italy had suffered during the “unspeakable Berlusconi years.”
Monti’s statement is noxious in modern democratic society, but he’s also stating a real fact that in times of crisis, the will of the people can be at loggerheads with what it takes to rescue the existing system.
One of the two must go.
This has been evident for a while.
Back in November, we wrote a post titled: To Save Europe, They Had To Kill Democracy. In order to keep the Euro system alive, the gameplan has been to install as many establishment technocrats as possible.
And even the latest “positive” development in Europe is un-democratic. As Simone Foxman explained on Friday, Mario Draghi is straight up threatening Europe with a quid-pro-quo. If political leaders get their act together, the ECB will reduce countries’ funding costs. If they don’t get their act together, the ECB will face a difficult decision about whether to step in and save a country or let something dramatically bad happen to convince EU leaders it wasn’t kidding.
So yes, people will flip out over Monti, but he’s basically telling the ugly truth. There is a conflict between a quick Eurozone solution and the demands of the people. The hope for the elites is that they can make the current system work, and then return to normalcy before the masses really get enraged.
And just to be clear, this is not unique to Europe.
In the US, politicians who voted for TARP paid a huge price.
And in terms of stimulating the economy, non-democracies do it much better, as Richard Koo has explained in the past.