People's AngerThe Swiss people vote this week end for the plebiscite initiative against abusive wages brings to light a gap which separates the common people disgusted by excesses from the elites of a nation. In Italy, in Spain, Portugal or Greece the populace has had enough of the politics insistence on austerity.
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Swiss citizens expressed their dissatisfaction with the exorbitant salaries of top managers. The plebiscite initiative Minder (68% in favor) signs a sanction against their lobbies (such as economiesuisse) as well. The parliament, which has dragged too and failed to forge a convincing counter proposition, is also sanctioned.
“More than half of Italians voted for some form of populist”. Well,... wonder why that was. Could it be that they have had enough of the “freeloaders up there”? And then there is The Economist that bastion of the establishment with a remonstrating front page headline, “Send in the Clowns. How Italy’s disastrous election threatens the future of the euro”.
The democratic process; more than half the electorate voted for Grillo and Berlusconi. When Grillo was making his name as a proper comedian the then premier of Italy, the head of the Italian Socialist party Bettino Craxi was visiting China. The apocryphal joke runs as follows. “If the Chinese are all socialists who do they steal from?” Craxi spent the latter years of his life in Tunisia to avoid the rather short arm of the Italian law on charges of corruption.
The euro is a political construct that has been flawed in design and execution from day one of its sorry existence. The Greeks know that; they have just been downgraded by Russell to emerging market status. In Spain with youth unemployment at 55% Catalonia has taken the first steps towards succession and ominously General Juan Antonio Chicharro, until 2010 commander of the Marine Corps, has opined that “What do the Armed Forces do now?” he gave no answer but the inference is quite clear. Added to the royal-political scandals, some might try to awaken the past !