L'EDITORIALE / Lorenzo Robustelli
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, loves her family very much – at least the political one – the European People’s Party (Epp). She loves it so much that whoever is not a part of it might as well drown without expecting her
even to extend a hand. I hadn’t realized this until recently but now it is clear: it is not that the Chancellor is late in helping the countries in difficulty because of internal balance problems or because they are just very rigid regarding public accounts: her go ahead for aid arrives only when the popular group (meaning the Epp) has won the local government.
The latest example, which for me is exemplary, was Cyprus. The fact that the banks of the little island were close to collapsing has been big news for the general public for at least a year; I don’t know how long the experts have known but I think at least 2 or 3. Cyprus had a Communist President of the Republic (who is also head of majority for the government). Until February 24th Demetris Christofias was the last communist to still declare such (not like Giorgio Napolitano, who changed party and opinion), to be head of a State of the EU as well as for the last semester of 2012 also the president of the EU. His banks’ crisis was clear even to a child in those months, and still the EuroGroup with Jean-Claude Juncker exiting and an incompetent Jeroen Dijsselbloem arriving, continued for some time to postpone the presentation of a plan. The excuses were most diverse – sometimes there weren’t even any. Until Christofias lost the election and then, at the beat of a drum, a plan was presented and approved within hours of the Epp’s Nicos Anastasiades entering the presidential palace. Then the plan was fine tuned by the odd Dutchman who leads the EuroGroup and made a ridiculous mess but that is another story (partly).
Looking at the past years I realized that probably the left-wing in Europe is very unlucky (other than probably being botched and often having incautiously taken the advice of many countries after long periods in the hands of populists maybe they had already marked their economic fate). Portugal, Greece, in some ways Ireland too and then obviously Spain, were all countries under Socialist leaders where the governments changed (changing over to PPE) just straddling the presentation of the plans for European aid.In Greece they needed several attempts to get the Socialists out, also running the risk of putting the country in the hands of neo-nazis, but in the end with repeated elections they were successful. In each of these instances Merkel was decisive: all plans initiated only after her go ahead expressed with familial wisdom not communal.
Even in Italy the Chancellor attempted a coup because if Silvio Berlusconi is part of the Epp it is also true that he is a bit of a black sheep (since regarding who is even worse, like Victor Orban, for now the Epp turns a blind eye and a deaf ear), is seen as an untrustworthy creator of financial black holes. So she chose an esteemed Professor like Mario Monti, who however revealed himself to be lacking in political talent, and therefore the formal consecration as the Epp candidate, humiliating Berlusconi was useless.