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Schäder, Barbara

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Financial Times Deutschland - Germany | 31/08/2011

Keep an eye on the old man

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has dropped the announced special tax for the rich from his austerity package. In doing so he is damaging the Eurozone and should therefore be closely monitored, writes the liberal Financial Times Deutschland: "Berlusconi's office may have announced that instead of the special tax for the rich the abolishment of tax relief for companies would channel money into the empty state coffers. But all the dithering sends a fatal signal that the implementation of Italy's much vaunted austerity plans is far from a foregone conclusion. ... Berlusconi's most recent escapades make it clear that Europeans must make a choice. If they want to keep the monetary union they have no alternative but to intensify cooperation. Because owing to the single currency and the deeply entwined economic ties among the euro states Italy's plight will affect everyone. ... It's inevitable that the Europeans will have to try and correct the mistakes the old man in Rome makes. But at least he should be subject to close supervision - and it's not the ECB that can do that, but the politicians."

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