The EU has indeed notified Italy the infringement procedure for excessive debt. On 9 July, the Ecofin “will decide whether to confirm the line of the Commission and the Eurogroup and whether or not to open the procedure against Rome and, strictly speaking, the EU Council, Thursday and Friday, 20 and 21 June, which will see the leader of the 28 countries of the Union to face the risky nomination (but not only) “(Il Sole 24 Ore 17 June 2019: see this).
Matteo Salvini intends to resist EU pressure on budget and public finance constraints that the Commission intends to impose on Italy. The Vice Premier does not intend to give up the main promises of the electoral campaign. In particular, it intends to bring home a substantial tax cut to businesses (“Flattax”).
The electoral promises of the Party of Matteo Salvini risked costing the state budget about 59.3 billion, if the tax cut were to provide – as promised – only two rates (15% up to 80 thousand euros of income and 20% for income exceeding 80 thousand). This is the simulation carried out at the Ministry of the Economy on 8 February 2019, put into circulation in the parliamentary circles of the majority.
The Government then denied this simulation, and Matteo Salvini himself has repeatedly stated that for the tax reduction he intends to introduce, a smaller but still high figure is sufficient: “for the first phase of the flat tax for families, for a substantial first strike, not for all but for many, it takes 12-15 billion and would be an epochal revolution”. The flat tax to families – he concludes – “is a project to be implemented over the five years and that in 2020 we can start from the first group”. (Il Sole 24 Ore 17 March 2019: see this)
It is likely that the habit of Salvini’s policy will end up giving birth to a much smaller measure, but that can be sold as a tax reduction or flat tax.
The same thing happened for the law on citizenship income, who ended up paying very small and insufficient amounts compared to those promised.
For the time being, all the tax burden of government measures continues to remain on the shoulders of employees and retired people. The 2019 budget law basically divides the tax payers into three broad categories: 1) those whose only source of income is their work as an employee or their pension: these apply the five Irpef rates in force with a progressive taxation: from 23 to 43%. 2) those who have income from professional activities subject to “VAT number”, or rental income from buildings which will benefit from a strong tax reduction 3) past tax evaders, who are benefiting from substantial and diverse tax amnesties issued by the Government Conte.
According to the same Ministry of Economy, in 2019 the tax burden on Italians it is set to stand at 42.4% (+ 0.4% compared to the previous year).Data confirmed by the estimates of the Parliamentary Budget Office and the CGIA of Mestre, which testify how the relationship between GDP and tax revenue will be destined to increase the weight of the second component. (Qui Finanza, 22 March 2019: see this). If among those who will benefit from the Flat Tax there will be above all companies, professionals and artisans, the introduction of new reductions will weigh even more on employees and pensioners, as well as on the already huge cuts in social services, health in the first place.
However, although the action of Salvini against the EU chains is not in the interests of the exploited and of the workers, but to grant tax rebates and new incentives to companies that exploit them, all these measures are difficult for the austerity policies that the EU continues to pursue, as the bearer of the interests of the worst global capitalism. This determination of EU technocrats made the fortune of center-right parties like Salvini’s one. The EU expects debt cuts and announces an infringement procedure for the excessive debt of 2019.
To withstand the pressure of EU austerity that threatens to nullify the electoral commitments made by the party of the Minister of the Interior, the latter sought support precisely in the Trump Administration.
Salvini had talks in Washington with Pompeo and Pence. Later, in a statement aired by Italian TV, Salvini said he wanted to inspire his government’s policy to Trump Administration’s one. In particular he said he will do the flat tax with every mean.
Beside this statement, Salvini also stated, on the sidelines of the meeting with Mike Pompeo at the Italian embassy:
“With the US administration we have a common vision on Iran, Libya, the Middle East, Israel’s right to exist, Venezuela, and towards the Chinese bullying towards Europe and Africa . In this picture, while other European countries have chosen a different path, Italy is the most solid and coherent ally of the USA”. (La Stampa 06/17/2019, see this)
The loyalty promised by Salvini extends to all US interests: from coup attempts in Venezuela to trade war with China. On the Huawei case he said “we are gathering elements to judge on the basis of verifications and evidence” specifying that “business is business but up to a certain point: when security is at stake, national must stop. Also because telecommunications security is worth more than any economic convenience “. As for the Venezuela , “Guaidò should have been recognized for some time” in place of “the criminal dictator Maduro“. (La Stampa 06/17/2019, see this).
Salvini did not limit himself to personal statements.
In particular on Iran he affirmed: “Italy’s position on Iran has already changed” (Corriere di Siena, see this)
According to the Italian Constitution, he is only a member of the Council of Ministers, Minister of the Interior although vice premier. The Constitution provides that the position of the Government and the political direction be determined following a collegial meeting of the Council of Ministers, under the Presidency of the Premier charged by the Head of State.
There is no meeting or determination of the Italian Council of Ministers that legitimized Salvini’s declaration on Italy’s position.
Yet the Iran issue is of crucial importance, also in light of the latest provocations that occurred with the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Mike Pompeo has publicly blamed the Iranian power of the attack.
In fact, the maximum pressure campaign against Iran began within a month of joining John Bolton as a national security adviser. On 8 May 2018, The Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated by Obama in 2015. The sanctions imposed on Iran before the JCPOA were restored and were new sanctions introduced.
In April, the US government stated in no uncertain terms that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the army of Iran, is a terrorist organization.
At the same time, sanctions against Iran have been extended to other countries in trade relations with this power, in order to prevent Iran from profiting from the sale of its oil.
Bolton soon announced that it had deployed an aircraft carrier and bombers attack group in the Middle East, claiming it wanted to “send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack against US interests or those of our allies will be rejected with inexorable force “. (Provocations in the Gulf of Oman: Will John Bolton Get His War on Iran?, globalresearch.ca, 16.6.2019, see this)
The following week the four oil tankers in the Persian Gulf attack. Bolton and the Secretary of State Pompey blame Iran for the attacks.
An international geopolitical analyst, Pepe Escobar, interviewed by Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research (Provocations in the Gulf of Oman: Will John Bolton Get His War on Iran?, globalresearch.ca, 16.6.2019, see this), states that the attack on oil tankers is probably was a false flag operation.
It is evident that during the attack, the Iranian government was engaged in conversations with the Japanese government, the status of two of the oil tankers involved.
Conducting an attack on assets of Japanese nationality at the same time as the Japanese prime minister is visiting Tehran appears a logical absurdity and dismantles the motive of the Bolton and Pompey charges.
The Japanese government itself asked the US for “concrete evidence” of Tehran’s involvement, while the crew of the stricken ship allegedly denied the US claims about the dynamics of the attack. The United States Navy “has released a video which would show, according to Washington, a member of Iranian pasdaran intent on removing a magnetic mine from the hull of the Kokuka Courageous, one of the two tankers attached. It is a version of the facts which, however, presents more than one flaw and contradicts the story of the crew of the Japanese oil tanker, according to which the boat was not hit by mines or torpedoes but by “flying objects”. (AGI Estero, 6/16/2019, see this).
Still Pepe Escobar maintains that the escalation of the aggression against Iran worries the powers of global finance. According to an American source of the analyst, there is a dossier on Trump’s desk in which concerns are expressed by the Bilderberg group, Wall Street analysts, JP Morgan, with Goldman Sachs projections, for the possible closure of the Strait of Hormuz and the repercussions on the financial market of oil-related derivatives.
According to data from the Bank of International Settlements, derivatives linked to oil for 2,500 billion dollars would be active in the world. A sudden escalation in the price of crude oil due to the closure of the Strait of Hormuz could collapse casino capitalism in seconds, a prospect feared by Bilderbergand global banks.
It is no coincidence that during Mike Pompeo’s visit to Switzerland to talk to the Swiss president in Bern, Bilderberg was in a meeting in Montreaux, and Pompeo would also go to Montreaux. (Provocations in the Gulf of Oman: Will John Bolton Get His War on Iran ?, globalresearch.ca, 16.6.2019, see this).
So the military escalation against Iran would be full of itself and but for the financial world tied to the USA and the Trump administration itself, after the statements of Bolton and Pompeo, would have understood to have been pushed into an uncomfortable corner, from which it is difficult to go back.
What is certain, from the point of view of the Italian perspective, is that Minister Salvini , with a view to finding external support for his ongoing election campaign in Europe, would have unreservedly hooked Italy to questionable and potentially pernicious scenarios for the the interest and security of our country, when Japan, Russia, China and others in the Western world accept tables dialoguing with Iran, which is present as an observer in the meetings of the Organization for Cooperation in Shanghai that are taking place in these days.
All this happens even in contempt of the constitutional dictates and the prerogatives of the Premier in charge, Conte, as well as of the entire Council of Ministers, the actual owner of the political direction according to the Italian Constitution.
How useful this national interest sell-off policy is is equally questionable. If Salvini seeks some form of financial support for the Government’s budget policy, History teaches that the United States is reluctant to open its pocket money, if not after being sure of returning its donations with all the interests of the case.
Otherwise , the bag remained laced despite great smiles and promises.
It has already happened with Matteo Renzi, when he made a similar visit to Washington, swearing loyalty on all the fields, in the hope that American dollars would save the Montepaschi Bank situation.
The dollars never arrived. Just as it has never happened that a fund tied to the US has bought in a bang a large tranche of our BTPs , when this did not financially agree.