EU mask slips as insider accuses bloc of being behind Mario Draghi nomination | World | New


Former European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has been sworn in as the next Italian Prime Minister. Mr Draghi, a prominent economist, accepted the lead role on Friday and later in the day read a cabinet pick list designed to build consensus among political parties. His new administration, made up of a mix of technocrats and politicians, is now expected to take office on Tuesday after a vote from both chambers of the Italian parliament.

This should be a formality as a majority of lawmakers have already indicated that they will support Mr Draghi.

The Italian government crisis was sparked last month when the Italia Viva party of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi withdrew its support for the coalition, amid a row over how to spend the € 200 billion ( £ 174.5 billion) – more than Rome is set to receive EU coronavirus recovery fund.

Expectations that Mr. Draghi will be able to reverse Italy’s fortunes are therefore up to the stakes.

One of its first major tasks will be to speed up a vaccination program as Italy struggles to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed 93,000 lives.

At the same time, it should save the economy from the worst recession since World War II.

If he wins, Mr Draghi is likely to support the entire eurozone, which has long worried about Italy’s perennial problems.

In an exclusive interview with, Italian MEP Antonio Maria Rinaldi suggested that the EU may in fact be the force behind Mr Draghi’s appointment.

He said: “EU leaders are incredibly happy that Mr Draghi becomes Prime Minister of Italy.

“After all, he’s one of them.

“They might even be the force behind it.

“It would not be the first time that the EU has interfered in the internal politics of the Member States.”

In 2011, the EU was accused of carrying out a coup after former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso threatened Greece with “paralysis of the country” unless MPs impeach their Prime Minister to form an unelected “government of national unity”.

Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou unexpectedly announced a referendum to approve a second EU bailout deal for his austerity-stricken country, less than a week after being agreed with international creditors during ‘a summit of the European Union.

However, the response from the EU’s Democratic leaders has been swift and clear: Greece would not receive a dime more unless Mr Papandreou is ousted in favor of a “government of national unity”.

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According to a 2011 Telegraph report, Barroso warned that unless Papandreou was impeached Greece would not be able to secure its next payment from the EU and the International Monetary Fund, which would result in national default and bankruptcy.

He said: “What we expect is to have a government of national unity.

“What’s the other option?

“Fault and have real difficulty paying the salaries of civil servants, schools, hospitals, which will lead to paralysis of the country.

“I’m sure the majority of the Greek people don’t want this kind of chaos.”

Even after Mr Papandreou abandoned his plan to hold the referendum, senior French, German and European officials demanded that he resign to allow a “technical” government to implement the measures.

Mr Barroso said at the time: “We respect Greek democracy and Greece’s right to decide its own future.

“At the same time, we need Greece to demonstrate its commitment to the decisions to which it has itself subscribed. “

Open Europe think tank economic analyst Raoul Ruparel said a new “compliant” Greek government would have been a “victory for the European elite”.

UK Reform Party leader Nigel Farage accused then Prime Minister David Cameron of giving tacit consent to the overthrow of European democracies by supporting a closer ‘fiscal union’ in the eurozone and the ‘EU.

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He said: “Cameron is actively encouraging countries in southern Europe to sleepwalking in a slow-motion, sugar-coated coup.”

The Le Soir newspaper in Belgium described German Chancellor Angela Merkel and then French President Nicolas Sarkozy as “putschists at the head of Europe”.

Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy summoned Mr Papandreou to Cannes to ask him to cancel his plan to organize popular votes on Greece’s involvement in Europe.

The former prime minister was accompanied by Evangelos Venizelos, his then finance minister, and they were given the ultimatum that Greece would not receive “a dime more” in aid unless Athens convinced the ‘EU that it was “ready to make the commitments that come with joining the euro”.

Upon returning from the meeting, Mr. Venizelos began to prepare the ground for the departure of Mr. Papandreou and a new transitional national unity government involving the right-wing opposition.

Mr. Papanderou dutifully resigned on November 11, 2011.

His successor, Lucas Papademos, was sworn in two days later.

As a former vice-president of the European Central Bank (ECB), he was considered a safe pair of hands by the Troika: the consortium of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund which provided bailouts.

The Greek people, however, were not consulted.

Once in power, obtained without a democratic mandate, Mr Papademos’ government approved a new round of austerity measures in February 2012, including a 22% cut in the minimum wage, 300 million euros (262 million pounds sterling) cut pensions and the wrenching of workers’ rights.


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