Earlier this month, the Mises Institute ran an interesting article on the problems Italy poses for the Eurozone in particular and the EU in general.
The article is worth a read and should be pondered in conjunction with the trends seen in Austria, Poland, and Hungary.
An important point to take from the article is Italy’s threat to break away from the Euro if the central government of the EU continues to interfere in Italian domestic affairs. Whether Italy would actually carry out such a threat remains to be seen. Idle speculation is not the same thing as facts observed in the cold light of day.
Whatever eventually occurs, the tension between Italy and the EU is clear to see. It comes from a number of sources: migration across the Mediterranean from Africa and the Near East; economic woes brought on by the 2008 financial crisis and Italy’s own management of her economy; and a general distaste among traditionalist Catholics for the decline of European Catholic civilisation.
Provided the EU maintains its current trajectory, these problems will not go away. MiFID II seeks to address problems in the financial sector, but, for all its thoroughness and complexity, it does not touch the root problems of our financial and economic instability, and the EU is in no position to predict what the spark that sets off the next crisis will be.
The decline of Catholic European civilisation will continue as long as states cling to the ideology of secularism. France is perhaps the most egregious example of this anti-God ideology, but other states share in it as well and it is found in the EU as an institution. The same criticism Milton’s Christ makes of Greco-Roman culture in Paradise Regained applies to the EU and individual Member States today.
As for migration: Italy has taken steps this year to preserve her national integrity. This policy sets her at odds with the ruling elite. Unless the other Member States elect governments that share the same values and send MEPs with the same values to the EU Parliament, factionalism will continue, with Italy and the Visegrad states on one side, and France and Germany on another. Next year’s MEP elections will be a critical moment – perhaps the EUs last chance to reform itself.
If it does not reform, it will die, whether sooner or later. In the affairs of men, no government lasts forever. In seeking to standardise the nations of Europe and in permitting immigration from regions with cultures that vary significantly from the common features of post-Napoleonic continental Europe, the EU is sowing the seeds of dissension. Sooner or later dissension becomes explicit and, when frustrated, angry.
The EU has not heard the last from Italy.