Italy’s Old New Populism
I think that to leave the euro would be for Italy a sugar coated poison pill. Sugar coated because it could increase exports, helped by a weaker currency, the New Lira or whatever they decide to call it. But we should not forget that Italian exports are doing well also with the euro, and Italy is the second manufacturing and industrial products exporting country in Europe after Germany. Poison pill because Italy, the entire nation and not only the ruling class, will have some problems not falling in a semi-Latin American situation of debasing the national currency. We cannot forget that since 1971 - end of Bretton Woods exchange mechanism - and the middle 90s when the euro started to be a real project the Lira's devaluation vs. the DMark was almost 700 per cent. And that the rulers of the time wanted to get into the euro to stop that. Opting out could be like a public confession: we cannot make it. The Italian public has become critical of the Eu (44% remain, 32% undecided, 24% ready to leave) but 65% of Italians think that the euro is better than the Lira, more pro euro than the average Eu citizen at 61 per cent (Eurobatometer). To get out is not going to be easy.