Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Another Anti-Austerity Voice (or Peep?)

Enrico Letta, no. 2 in the Italian Democratic Party, has been called on to try to form a government (the no. 1, Bersani, already tried and failed). One of his first statements was "Europe's austerity policy is no longer sufficient." It might be a stretch to call this a vote for anti-austerity: "no longer sufficient" is hardly outright rejection. But Mr. Letta must speak carefully, and he is sending a signal not only to Italians but to his European overseers.

How much longer will François Hollande wait before sending a signal of his own? Now that the government has vetoed amnesty measures for certain strikers who destroyed property during the wave of violence that greeted Sarkozy's retirement reform, he needs more badly than ever to shore up his credibility with the left of the Left. Mélenchon will be on TV tomorrow night and will certainly not mince words about this latest abandonment of "workers in rebellion against austerity." Hollande has given plenty of tokens to the Troika. It's time he did something for people who voted for him.

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