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28 January, 2017

Water privatization: probably another reason for which the EFD wanted to get rid of Berlusconi


Through a secret letter, the European Financial Dictatorship (EFD), demanded from Berlusconi to privatize water, among other things. "The Berlusconi government adopted several proposals of the ECB letter. However it did not include the liberalization of water services."

From epsu.org :

With many actions and including civil disobedience, the Italian organizations that form the Italian Water Movement forced the Italian government of former European Commissioner Mario Monti to withdraw a proposal to liberalise water services 19 January 2012. The Italian people spoke out in large majority (>90%) against the liberalization and privatisation of the water services in June 2011.

However the European Central Bank demanded that Italy do exactly that and have a “comprehensive, far-reaching and credible reform strategy, including the full liberalisation of local public services and of professional services. This should apply particularly to the provision of local services through large scale privatizations”. This was part of a secret letter signed by Trichet and Draghi, the outgoing and incoming Presidents of the ECB, in July 2011. The secret letter argued for many other measures to be taken including public service workers pay freezes, public employment cuts and labour market flexibility to mention a few. Measures such as liberalization of public services are called structural reforms in Euro-speak. EPSU has argued that the ECB has no mandate for such detailed policy advise, and that it violates the democratic will of the Italian people.

The Berlusconi government adopted several proposals of the ECB letter. However it did not include the liberalization of water services. This triggered European Commissioner Oli Rehn to write to the Italian PM “Could further information be provided to explain which reforms are envisaged in the water sector despite the outcomes of the recent referendum ?” as part of his letter seeking clarification of the many measures the Italian government was proposing.

So, this is probably another reason for which the EFD wanted to get rid of Berlusconi:

Alan Friedman, a Financial Times correspondent at the time, was investigating the revolving doors that connect businessmen and EU officials that participated in Berlusconi's expulsion.

As Friedman reveals: “President Napolitano, as far back as 2011, so, six months before the government fell, had secretly begun talks with Mario Monti, the former European Commissioner, and with a big banker, Corrado Passera, who was the chief executive of the biggest bank in Italy, and he was already planning a new government, a new government policy, a new economic program.”, and “Carlo De Benedetti, the former Olivetti chief, an Italian billionaire, told me how in the summer of 2011, Mario Monti, the former European Commissioner, came to visit him at his house, in the Swiss jet set resort of St. Moritz. And what he came to ask him was advice, saying 'I had this offer to be available to take over as Prime Minister. What should I do?' Former Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, of Italy, told me he had a similar conversation with Monti, also asking for his advice.

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