"We must tell Europe with strength that the ECB has to start printing money. The ECB has to change its mission."Good luck with that Silvio, but not the one who's easily deterred he went on:
"Either the ECB becomes the [eurozone's] lender of last resort, or the problem of Europe, or better of Germany in Europe, arises. Germany should leave the euro instead, if it doesn't agree with the ECB acting as the lender of last resort."So Germany leaving? It's Silvio, but still. He wasn't done, however:
"I'll tell you the crazy idea that I have in mind: let's start printing euros with our national mint [if the ECB refuses to do so]."
"If Europe doesn't pay attention to our demands, we should say 'ciao ciao' and leave the euro."
"Leaving the euro wouldn't be the end of the world. Britain is a solid country and has never joined the euro."Il Cavaliere's remarks are literally all over the place, i.e. ECB money printing or the Italian Central Bank should fire up the printing presses with or without Frankfurt's approval. Alternatively, either Germany or Italy itself leaves the euro "which wouldn't be the end of the world." Extraordinary stuff.
All empty rhetoric? Most likely. But if there's one thing Berlusconi knows better than many other Italian and European politicians is how to tell people exactly what they want to hear. And remember, Italy will see key national elections in 2013 in which Berlusconi's party is a contender. It's no coincidence that he is now mentioning the possibility of Italy leaving the euro - an idea floated by Italian comedian Beppe Grillo, the rising star of Italian politics, during the campaign for last month's local elections (from which Grillo's Five Star Movement emerged as the big winner).
And it's a most interesting development that a senior Italian engages in outright anti-euro rhetoric.