photo: Domenico Moro’s private archive
Posted on October 27, 2018 by Il Grido del Popolo©
Domenico Moro (1964, Rome) is an Italian economist, sociologist and political researcher who for years has been analyzing and researching the European monetary system as well as large multinacional financial monopolies and groups such as Bilderberg and the Trilateral commission. So far, he has published several books: “Il gruppo Bilderberg” (2014), “Globalizzazione e decadenza industriale” (2015), “La terza guerra mundiale e il fundamentalismo islamico” (2016), “La gubbia dell’euro” (2018).
First I would ask you if the European Union has a future in the form of a corporate project of the ruling elites?
DM: I think we have to distinguish between Eu and single European currency. It is difficult that Euro can survive, in the same way as other previous monetary unions in the History, for example the Latin union. First of all, the Euro system is unfit for coping with the evolution of world economy, because makes impossible to the single countries to adapt themselves to economic cycles. Without any control on exchange and interest rates, and on money emission of the central bank is impossible for a single State making any industrial policy and contrasting the decrease of GDP and employment. Euro is broadening the differences between countries, producing millions of poor people and, more of all, makes difficult resisting to external shocks. Another crisis, like the 2008-2009 one (the worst one since 1929), would means likely the collapse of euro system. But for which reason the ruling classes in Europe are so determined to defend Euro? Euro is a political project. From a class point of view, Euro is the tool to force the working class to accept the European rules, written in the Treaties. The target is removing the control of public budget and industrial policy from other classes and put it only into hands of the superior sector of capital, the biggest and more internationalized one. Above all Euro is the tool to accept limitations on popular and democratic sovereignty, as it was established during a century of struggles, and make the Parliaments more weak with no power in public budget and industrial policy decisions. In this way, Euro and treaties has made possible modify the balance of power between capital and labour that was defined in favour of working class after the fall of fascism and after the struggles in sixties and seventies. With regard to the Eu treaties, also the European targets that force the decrease of debt to 60% on GDP are impossible to be reached. Perhaps what could survive is another system of relationships among European countries, with agreements which establish some kind of trade rules among countries.
How do you look at Brussels latest pressures on fiscal monetary policy of Italy, in terms of her debt?
DM: Italian government actually is not doing an expansionary policy. It would be exaggerated call it a Keynesian policy. A public deficit of 2.4% is just 0.1% above the deficit of the previous Pd government. Notwithstanding the European commission is attacking the government as if it was doing a policy of strong spending, which can destroy Europe. It is the demonstration that European Commission is far from reality. According to Junker and Moscovici, Italy should cut public expenses further after years of austerity in order to pass from 131% to 60% of debt on GDP just in a couple of decades of years. All this during a period of economic stagnation with an inflation between zero and one per cent and with 5 million of absolute poors. It is ridiculous.
Italian public debt has already reached 131% of the state GDP, which is more of 2340 billion euros, while economic growth is below the EU average, and the unemployment rate is 11%, which amongst the young population is unbelievable 32%. How can Italy deal with these problems and can it at all?
DM: That’s for sure that Italy cannot cope with unemployment and its big debt if it follow the European rules and cut the public expenses. We need to increase investments, particularly in construction, in order to revitalize the domestic market. Only the state can do it. For this reason Italy has to go much further a 2.4% deficit. In this case, it should be inevitable to crash with European authorities.
Right-wing populist “5stelle” and Lega Nord government in Rome are opposed to austerity measures, but will they step in front of the Brussels bureaucrats, as did in Greece once?
DM: Italy is not Greece. First of all for its dimensions. Without Italy euro can arrive to the end quickly. Secondly, Italian industrial structure is quite strong and quite competitive. Italy has been realizing strong trade surpluses (goods and services) for the last 7 years (53 billion of euros in 2017). Instead France and Uk continue to have trade deficit. Italy has been doing public primary surpluses for last 20 years (Germany for only 12 years), i.e. Italy State expenses are less than its revenues. Furthermore in Italy household savings are quite high. International investments funds know it, as JP Morgan said recently. For this reason they are investing in Italian debt even now. From the other side, we do not have to forget the euro is a strong cage. Exiting from this cage requires a strong political determination. The question is if M5S and Lega will be firm and concerned to it. I have some doubt about this. In my opinion the true government target is to negotiate better conditions with Eu. Lega and M5S are bourgeois parties. They represent some sectors of capital and middle and petty bourgeoisie damaged by austerity. Do not forget that Italy has a biggest sector of little and middle firms than other European countries, like Germany and France. In any event the situation could fall if the Commission hardens its position, but it is difficult forecast what will happen.
We are witnesses today that the Italian left is at the lowest possible level of its existence and socio-political action. Which is the real reason for it?
DM: The reasons of collapse of Italian left are many and have origin in the past twenty-thirty years of Italian history. When Italian communist party (Pci) broke up in 1991, it was divided in two parts. The majority organized a party (called Pds and then Ds and Pd), which was rather liberal democratic than social democratic. It was the demonstration of how Pci was changed in the last decade, surrendering on the political and ideological field. This party become the spokesperson of big capital interests and in particular of European union and single currency. All of this was hidden by the opposition of Berlusconi, depicted as the most important danger for Italy. The minority of former Pci and some other far left little organizations and groups organized the Party of Rifondazione Comunista (Prc). This party was the assembly of many political and ideological currents in perpetual fight each against other rather than an organization composed by well-blended elements. Not much was done in this direction by the leadership, more interested in electoral tactics. Furthermore, in order to fight Berlusconi, considered the most (or the only) dangerous enemy, the sole political tactic of Prc was the centre-left coalition with Pds (later Ds) and leaded by Romano Prodi, a former State top manager, the person responsible for privatization of many State enterprises. The second Prodi government (2006-2008) was a disillusionment for many voters of Prc, PdCI (a 1998 secession from Prc) and Greens. At the elections in 2008 the votes of this parties decreased from 12% to 3% and they were expelled from Parliament. This result was destinate to do not change. For two reasons. Firstly, a part of far left electorate moved to abstention and a bigger part passed to Movimento cinque stelle, which will began the first Italian party in 2013 and go to the government in 2018. Secondly, because of the defeat, the political and ideological differences broke up inside Prc and the far left. Some people wanted go on with centre-left collation, some did not. Some people thought that was necessary get rid of communism and marxism, some did not. There were many secessions, which weakened Prc. The situation fell with the 2008-2009 crisis and European austerity, in particular during Monti government, a sort of Eu commissioner, supported by Pd and Berlusconi. The moderate left was the more sure supporter of European constrictions and payed the price for this at the last elections, in the same way the as moderate left did in France, Greece, Spain, Germany. The far left was negative with austerity, but its position on Eu and the single currency was little clear, confusing defense of Eu with internationalism and the fight against Euro with nationalism. Summarizing, moderate left was the defender of big capital interests while far left was not able to understand the modification of the Italian and European society, in particular the impact of Euro on economy and policy. On the contrary, M5S and Lega were able to do it. It was remarkable the ability of Lega to transform from defender of North Italy interests into defender of “national” interests, building a social alliance (in the sense which Gramsci gave to the word) with some sectors of capitalist firms (which have the leadership), middle classes and working class. In a way, today we assist to a civil war inside the Italian (but also European) capitalist class, of which the birth of last Italian government is the evidence.
How do you see today on this growing rising climax of fascism in Europe and whether a modern left can even oppose this trend and how?
DM: The rising of fascist groups depends on the European austerity and crisis, in the same way as nazism depended on the austerity policy with which was faced the 1929 crysis. They also depend on the tolerance towards them of moderate left and centre-right parties that underestimated antifascism and Resistance importance in the last decades. But the true question is: there is a danger of fascism regime in Europe? In order to answer we have to understand what was fascism and why took power. Fascism was the open and brute dictatorship of the élite of capital. This dictatorship was useful to remove popular and democratic sovereignty, eliminating Parliament and elections, as well as trade unions and working class parties. Furthermore fascism and its nationalistic soul was coherent with a capitalistic accumulation that was mainly domestic and with a territorial shape of imperialism. Fascism was the preparation to the second time of the world war for the defeated country (Germany) and the unsatisfied country (Italy) of the First World War. Today – we have to ask ourselves – what has eliminate o reduced popular and democratic sovereignty? What has neutralized the universal suffrage, trade unions and popular parties? The answer is simple. European treaties and single currency. You can vote a policy after that the European constraints and Euro prevent to put into practice. Thanks to them, élite of capital do not need to abolish democracy or use direct brutality. Furthermore, the capitalist accumulation is much more global than in the thirties and imperialism is not territorial but managed by multinational enterprises. The most bizarre thing is that M5S and Lega – a centre and a far right party – seem the defender of the vote results (and of the democratic sovereignty) against the international market and European Commission influence on the political decision. Meanwhile, Pd, Berlusconi and President of Republic defend the European Commission and say “We have to respetct the rules, otherwise the markets will punish us”. The problem is that Italian workers and unemployed people has been punished for a decade by austerity, of which is impossible to see a end. You can imagine the consequences of Junker declarations on Italian electorate: Lega has increased its votes from 17,3% to 30%. This is the demonstration of the confusion existing in Italy (but also in many European countries) and of the difficulties of the left to fight the M5S and Lega positions. For this reason we have to be clear about European treaty and single currency. Exit from Euro or even from Eu do not resolve all the problems but is a necessary conditions, particularly if we want to be credible. It is true that the problem is the capital, but capitalism fights its class battle and do profits in different historical ways. Today European integration takes on a strategic role for European capital egemony and capital accumulation.
All this does not mean that does not exist any difference inside capital and between capitals of different nations and consequently that does not exit competition among capitals and among States. On the contrary, Euro, widening differences in economy and reducing domestic markets, increases the imperialistic tendency to expansion abroad and tensions among States, strengthening the role of the national State, as well as nationalism and xenophobia. Euro and Eu do not abolish or weaken national-States, but change them, redefining their parts and the relationship among these in order to put in a cage the subordinate classes.
Consider one of the best experts when it comes to organizations such as the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission. Tell me how really these organizations really are capable of carrying the decision on the international political scene, and is there any cooperation between them and the NATO military alliance through an institution such as the Club of Rome?
DM: Usually people connect Bilderberg to conspiracy theory. They think that there is a little group of people that decide about all what concern the events in the world. Actually Bilderberg and its sister organization, Trilateral Commission, are think tanks of a part of the superior sector of international capital of western countries, the majority member countries of Nato (Usa, Canada, Uk, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, etc.). Their target is discussing and defining policies useful to their interests. Even if there is no conspiracy, the strategical importance of Bilderberg and Trilateral is evident in connection with European integration. The proposal of a single currency in Europe was proposed in a meeting of Bilderberg in Buxton in 1958, in order to control the public budget and reduce the power of Parliaments. Particularly meaningful is The Crisis of democracy, a report for the Trilateral meeting at Tokyo in 1975, written by Huntigton and Crozier. The crisis of democracy, according to the two authors, was depending on an excess of democracy, which should have been reduced. The tool to reach this goal was European integration. The strength of Bilderberg and Trilateral depends on the connection between business élite (top managers and member of boards of multinationals, transnationals, and internationals banks), policy élite (prime ministers and heads of State, finance and foreign ministers, European Commission members, Nato council members), élite of European and national bureaucracy (International monetary fund, central banks and Bce members), and élite of University and mass media. Many European prime ministers has attended the meeting, among them Blair, Merkel, Prodi, Monti. In this way the business élite can exercise an influence on politics. Summarizing, there is no conspiracy theory but hegemony building of transnational capital in western society.
This interview was prepared and made by Gordan Stošević