In de Duitse pers, die in tegenstelling tot onze eigen MSM wèl iedere dag uitvoerig rapporteert over de ontwikkelingen inzake de economische crisis, was enige commotie over het feit, dat een paar weken geleden de Duitse kanselier Angela Merkel behoorlijk werd gemangeld door premier Rajoy van Spanje, Hollande van Frankrijk en Mario Monti van Italië. In een TV intervieuw dat Monti gaf aan CNN verslaggeefster Amanapour , legt Monti nog eens uit wat zijn bedoelingen zijn. Wij hebben met dank aan CNN zowel de video als ook de ( Engelstalige) transscript van het interview op onze site gezet.
En hier de transcript :
AMANPOUR: But first Super Mario, as he’s become known, Italy’s prime minister, Mario Monti.
Thank you for being here, thank you for coming to the studio.
MARIO MONTI, ITALY’S PRIME MINISTER: Great pleasure.
AMANPOUR: Super Mario is a big title, and you have a superhuman job to do. The first question of course is after all these measures and methods and structural reforms that you’ve done, why is Italy still in a recession?
MONTI: It’s normal that Italy is still in a recession because the measures we introduced, if anything, did deepen the recession a bit. Their purpose was to take Italy out of being in a financial big storm. That has been achieved largely. But that, of course, in the very short term, is not going to help the real economy.
So we put in place the prerequisites for Italy to grow, I believe, beginning sometime next year. But above all, we took, I’m confident to say, Italy out of the list of the countries that might have created a big European fire.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, it seems, according to economists and all these people who’ve studied this that Europe’s fate is really dependent on Germany’s attitude. And recently George Soros has said Germany should either lead the Eurozone out of this crisis by boosting growth and other measures, or leave.
Do you agree with that?
MONTI: I believe that in Europe, we have a collective leadership. We are a community of 27 member states, 17 in the Eurozone. But of course, some are more powerful than others. And obviously Germany is. Leadership from Germany is welcome, especially if, at the same time, the German leaders are able to lead their own domestic public opinion to understand the responsibility of leading Europe. I think Chancellor Merkel has gone a long way towards gradually achieving this. And I must tell you that since June-July this year, I’m much more confident about the future of the Eurozone, first of all, because we are not going to ignite an Italian-generated fire; and second because, also thanks to the evolution in Germany, the mechanisms for the governance of the Eurozone are being improved, I would say, by the month. That was a bit late, but I think we got there.
AMANPOUR: There’s still quite a lot of turmoil on the streets. We’re just getting some live pictures in from Madrid, where big protest demonstration was called for today. And it looks to be quite vigorous out there on the streets of Madrid. There’s a lot of pain being felt by ordinary people all over the world, all over Europe, not only in your country where there have been quite a lot of suicides, but in Greece as well. In Spain today, the front of “The New York Times” had a terrible picture of a man having to forage in a garbage bin for food.
MONTI: Can I borrow an expression that President Obama used this morning in his speech to the general assembly, he spoke, talking in — of the Arab world after the spring of painstaking work of reform. That exactly applies equally to domestic reforms in each of our countries. And I’m glad to say that although the Italian people has been subjected by the government I chair to an unprecedented amount of sacrifices, and of disciplines and of eliminating privileges and ranks , the Italian people so far has behaved in a highly responsible manner, as if they clearly understood — and I believe they did clearly understand — that this is for the improvement of their prospects and the prospects of their children. But of course, this requires quite a bit of pedagogical effort by governments.
AMANPOUR: To explain?
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you, because obviously you were the unelected prime minister. There are elections coming up. Will you run? Will you enter the race for the leadership?
MONTI: No, I will not run for the elections. By the way, I don’t need to, because the president of the republic appointed me senator for life. And I think it’s important that the full political game resumes in Italy, hopefully with a higher degree of responsibility and of maturity. We are helping that by being part of the European Union. Obviously, I will facilitate as much as I can the evolution.
AMANPOUR: Some are suggesting that Italy should ask for a bailout, precisely because of the stringent sort of straitjacket that comes with that, that would then be locked in, no matter who came after you, if you were no longer prime minister. Does that make sense to you?
MONTI: If I were cynical enough, it might make sense. I much prefer that we have, under the leadership of the government, a collective effort in Italy to show to ourselves and Europe and the world that we can — we can make it. Now I am proud, having contributed with a few other European leaders to now Europe having been placed the appropriate mechanisms to facilitate those countries which are doing their homework correctly, to have in the marketplace declining interest rates. And I hope therefore that, number one, we will not need to ask for the use of that instrument, that we ourselves helped put in place in Europe. But secondly, if we had to, that is devised in such a way that it would not amount to a surrender of sovereignty as Greece, Ireland, Portugal had to. And I believe, therefore, that Italians will continue to behave responsibly, more than they are usually credited internationally.
AMANPOUR: You had a rather famous now showdown with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, last summer, when you were discussing this whole notion of borrowing costs for Italy and Spain. How did that go? I mean, we hear you sort of really threatened to hijack the meeting unless you got what you wanted.
MONTI: Well, the terminology you use is pretty colored.
MONTI: It was not a showdown. It was a vigorous working together. And I think everybody is now happy that what we agreed unanimously, albeit at 5:00 am in the morning, I must admit, is well received.
AMANPOUR: But you did have to say that you would block all deals until Chancellor Merkel agreed to take action. I mean, you had to get tough.
MONTI: It was — it — I had to get convincing, which can be done softly. And it was — at no moment it was personal against Chancellor Merkel.
AMANPOUR: How about against Silvio Berlusconi? He’s recently been giving interviews, in which he’s predictably criticizing you, saying that you’re pandering too much to the Left. But nonetheless, he’s starting what some are calling a reelection campaign, his boat (ph) tour around. What do you make of that? Do you think he’ll rejoin politics? What would that mean for Italy?
MONTI: Well, he never left politics.
AMANPOUR: Prime ministership.
MONTI: Yes, he left prime ministership and his party, the party that he still chairs, has been one of the three key parties in supporting the estranged majority that I govern with. So whether he decides to step back directly into the scene and run for election as prime minister candidate, I don’t know. This is clearly within his right. I have no idea. But I saw in him one of the most consistent supporters of the action taken this year by the government.
AMANPOUR: Let’s go slightly further afield with things that you’re very involved in, and that is the Arab Spring that President Obama was talking about. In view of what the president said this morning, reflecting on the violence that has erupted over the last several weeks, what is your view of Italian relations with Egypt, with Libya? How are those new Islamist- flavored democracies going to work with Italy and Europe?
MONTI: You rightly say with Italy and Europe. We are very active on both accounts because as Italy, a country and government, we take a very active interest in the Mediterranean and the Middle East and North Africa. And you mention in particular Egypt. I had early talks with now President Morsi when he was still a candidate. Then he visited us in Rome. By the way, having a very powerful impact on the business community of Italy with which he had a meeting in Rome, and we clearly support his efforts. Equally we do it with the more critical situation of Libya. But you also mentioned Europe, because Italy is working in order for Europe to solve its domestic problems as soon as possible, and the Eurozone was one of these. And also to project itself more cohesively on the Mediterranean and Middle East and North Africa, because I think that is the place in the world where we must exercise a soft but — soft but strong influence.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Monti, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
MONTI: Thank you very much