Italy is an existential threat to the Euro and to the Union. Just for starters between 71 and 79 billion euros is owed by the Italian state, at national and local levels, to small, medium and even larger businesses. Obviously there will be, and there is, a cascade effect and, as during the Transition of the eastern bloc (with the complicity of the IMF) we have the beginning of the de-monetisation of the Italian economy.
Last week the Prime Minister went to Brussels to obtain authorisation for unblocking at least this disaster, whose cause is not principally lack of funds: regional and local authorities are forbidden to release the funds they have because they are bound by the rules of the Stability and Growth pact. Italy needs to live under fiscal sovereignty. It is also the third largest economy in the EU. Something has got to give. Simply demonising Italians as ne'er-do-well, sun-tanned, ice-cream eaters is beyond good and evil (as the saying goes here).
We tried. We voted. The moment we - finally - got our hands on a ballot (which event was so improperly delayed for 15 months by a President claiming dictatorial powers under constitutional guise) we voted for a re-negotiation, or out of the Euro. Since winning a month ago, no government at all has been installed; the Monti administration is forcibly (though again under constitutional guise) kept in office. Even Mario Monti himself is protesting against his slaving to European Union imperatives. His use of Garibaldi's "Obbedisco" is hardly a full-hearted expression of consent, or of agreement with the Head of State's understanding of our situation, and his objectives for Italy. Napolitano had to swallow Monti's scathing consent because Monti's government is the only possible Italian counter-party for any international bailing - in or out - and there is no possibility of stable democratic governance (for instance, Comrade Bersani has just accused us all of being Leninists, which is a remarkable exposition of his mindset. Angels are not at all sure what a Leninist is, but it must be better than being a Bersani Stalinist. Whatever - it gives an idea of where they are coming from).
Now the Cyprus experiment has made plain the full content of Mario Draghi's 'Do whatever it takes' euro speech. What the euro-zealots intend to take is a sitting duck in the nation's bank accounts. Well, it's a sitting duck at the moment but it's getting under cover fast, despite 15 months of Monti trying to close down escape routes (which attempts, both Monti's and our defensive manoeuvres, of themselves have had adverse effects for investment in a time of broken monetary transmission mechanisms. How pathetic to have driven the country's savers into gold.)
Meanwhile in another part of the forest Silvio Berlusconi, whose coalition received only 100,000 fewer votes than the dominant Bersani-ite Democratic Party, has said plainly that any further constitutional warping of the higher offices of the state will be met with obdurate opposition in Parliament and Piazza (constitutionally Italian government rests upon continuous and cross-party consent much more than the oppositional model of, say, the UK). The Five Stars, who definitely hold 25% (but even 30% according to Italy's latest iffy political polls) of the electorate, are joined at least in the requirement for fresh elections, with Berlusconi. The pro-European elites publish dream teams of 'civic', imposed governance in their media. The Northern Leagues want an end not just to the EU in its present form but to Italy in its present form as well; and these anti-Europe anti- united Italy separatists are the chosen target coalition group Bersani hopes to use to shoe-horn himself into power.
In its current figuration and future goals Europe cannot afford Italy. Indeed Angels are unsure whether Europe can even afford itself. Italy can afford Italy, but we can't afford Europe; not the awful Austrians again, or the Germans either (the Dutch and the Finns are just gloomy coat-tailers from soggy seasides, and frozen wastes at the edge of Russia). If 'Whatever It Takes' means the destruction of Italian manufacturing industry, bankruptcy, the mass unemployment of the young, the denial of the concept of property, and the dismemberment of Italy, this is not for Mario Draghi or President Napolitano to offer. Not for their idea of Europe.