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7/22/15

Italy: The (In)Consequential Beppe Grillo - Stephan Richter

Beppe Grillo, Italy’s comedian-turned-politician and the leader of the Five-Star Movement, has the world figured out. Except he hasn’t.

In a recent interview, Grillo had this to say about Italy’s joining the eurozone in 1999: “We entered monetary union from one day to the next, and they said it was for our own good. Since then, all our economic, social and financial indicators have got worse.”

As an objective description, that may not even be far off. The question is why things have turned out this way. Notably, the suggestion implied in Grillo’s analysis is that the mere act of joining the euro, like some magic wand, would take care of most of Italy’s problems.

Alas, crucial economic reforms can’t be had if they are put on autopilot. In fact, there’s a major contradiction in Grillo’s thinking: On the one hand, he wants nations to remain sovereign in their decision-making. On the other hand, he expects Brussels, in effect, to take care of the problems that lie in Italy’s way.

Read more: Italy: The (In)Consequential Beppe Grillo - The Globalist

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