“Italy is on a collision course with the EU over its budget deficit”

Italien wird auch 2019 Thema bleiben. Eindeutig ist das Land in einer Dauerstagnation gefangen, aus der es wohl kein Entkommen gibt. Erleichterung könnte ein Austritt aus dem Euro verschaffen, was allerdings vorerst nicht passieren wird. Der Reiz für die italienischen Politiker, in diese Richtung zu argumentieren, dürfte dennoch weiterwachsen, vor allem, wenn es zu einer erneuten Rezession kommt. Der Telegraph fasst Bekanntes zusammen:

  • “(…) the government’s plans for the budget deficit, reflecting the introduction of a citizen’s income and a flat tax, will be submitted to the European Commission. These plans envisage the budget deficit next year at 2.4pc. This may not sound that much but the commission wants the deficit to be considerably lower in order to reduce the ratio of public debt to GDP. This is understandable. The ratio is running at over 130pc, which is unsustainable.” – bto: nur für jemanden, der keinen Zugriff auf die Notenpresse hat …
  • “Yet Italy’s situation is complex. The banks are weak, with inadequate capital, a high level of non-performing loans and large holdings of Italian government debt. Italian government bond yields have recently risen sharply, with the spread on 10-year bonds over their German equivalents rising from 1.2pc in April to 3pc now. The concomitant fall in the price of these bonds inflicts a significant capital loss on Italian banks.” – bto: schwache Wirtschaft, schwache Banken, also wiederum schwache Wirtschaft.
  • “But the underlying economic problem is more important. Not all of it is down to membership of the euro, but some of it is. Since the euro was formed in 1999, the Italian economy has grown by only 9pc, or the equivalent of just 0.4pc per annum. Bear in mind that the euro was supposed to bring prosperity to all its members, while narrowing divergences between them.” – bto: Leser dieser Seiten wissen, dass wir eurozonenweit eine zunehmende Divergenz haben, statt Konvergenz, wie der IWF vorgerechnet hat.
  • Dann noch der Hinweis, wie richtig es für Großbritannien war, nicht dem Euro beizutreten: “Since 1999, compared with Italy’s 9pc, France and Germany have grown by 32pc. So not much convergence there. Perhaps most strikingly, the UK has grown by 42pc.” – btonatürlich getrieben durch eine Maßnahme, Verschuldung der privaten Haushalte.
  • “Policies of austerity alone will not reduce the Italian debt ratio. Economic growth needs to be higher. This is fully recognised by the Italian government. It wants to boost the economy through increased spending and lower taxes. This should help somewhat but it is unlikely that the consequent rise in GDP will be enough compared to the increased level of the deficit to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio. An alternative avenue is to embark on a programme of fundamental reform to make the Italian economy more efficient. Clearly, however, this is much easier said than done. Neither Italy nor the markets can wait long enough for the pay-off.” – bto: Es ist unmöglich, weshalb es in der Tat besser wäre, wenn das Land aus dem Euro ausschiede.
  • “So we come to the third way, which is to try to reduce Italian relative unit labour costs in order to improve competitiveness and, on the back of this, to secure an export boom. According to the progenitors of the euro project, the way to achieve this is through domestic deflation.” – bto: was irre ist, denn es vergrößert den Schaden zusätzlich.
  • “(…) the obvious way forward is to depreciate the currency, which is exactly what Italy did several times during the post-war period. Of course, depreciation is not the answer to a maiden’s prayer. On its own it cannot deliver fundamental economic improvements. But it can keep a country competitive despite a tendency for domestic costs to lodge themselves at too high a level.” – bto: Das Problem ist, im Euro geht das nicht so einfach.
  • “The new Italian government understands this perfectly well. It is prepared, sotto voce, to threaten a course of action that would lead to Italy leaving the euro, and hence bringing on a lower exchange rate. They are too clever openly to advocate such a move but they are also adamant that they will not be bullied by the eurozone authorities in the way that Greece was. And they have a scheme up their sleeve for a parallel currency, which puts them in a stronger position to negotiate with the euro authorities. Both sides are well aware that, compared to Greece, Italy has more clout and more ability to succeed outside the euro. It is also too big to bail out.” – bto: Das stimmt nicht, weil das die EZB machen kann und wird – allen gegenteiligen Beteuerungen der Politik zum Trotz.
  • If the Italian economy is having difficulty in growing now, imagine how things will be when the next global downturn comes. I cannot see the Italian government being prepared to sit idly by while growth sinks from next to nothing to negative. This is not one of those quietly amusing, short Italian operas. There is much here that is downright tragic. It feels to me more like Wagner’s epic and exhausting Ring cycle. This mammoth work ends with the destruction of Valhalla and the Twilight of the Gods.” – bto: Im Unterschied zu Wagner dürfte der Weg bis zur Zerstörung Walhallas für das Publikum zwar aufregend und “unterhaltsam”, aber kein Genuss sein!

→ telegraph.co.uk: “Italy is on a collision course with the EU over its budget deficit”, 24. Dezember 2018